Although the Yankees were sitting at the bottom of the AL East before Wednesday’s game, you can never take them too lightly as they are liable to explode at any moment. Ted Lilly found that out first hand as he lasted only three and one-third innings against his former club, giving up six earned runs on six hits.
Carl Pavano was the beneficiary of the Yankee hitters’ offensive explosion as he pitched eight strong innings, scattering seven hits and two runs allowed, one earned, for his first win in a Yankee uniform.
New York got the ball rolling when Hideki Matsui, Alex Rodriguez and Ruben Sierra hit consecutive doubles off Lilly in what amounted to a three run second inning. Sierra left the game due to a stiff left elbow in the fourth inning and was replaced by Jason Giambi.
The Blue Jays got on the board in the third when Alex Rios tripled, and was later brought home on Orlando Hudson’s sacrifice fly to make it 3-1. But New York continued to pound Lilly before his early exit during the fourth inning as Sierra led off with a double, Posada then followed with a double of his own. Pete Walker relieved Lilly but struggled to find the plate as he walked four batters in his one and two-third innings of work as the Yankees led 7-1 after five innings.
Matt Whiteside made his Blue Jays debut after he was called up to replace the demoted Brandon League who was optioned to Syracuse for more seasoning. Whiteside, who hadn’t seen major league action since he was with the Atlanta Braves in 2001, didn’t fair too well upon his return. Rodriguez and Giambi both walked, then Jorge Posada made him pay as he deposited Whiteside’s delivery over the wall in right to make it 10-1 New York.
The Jays and Yankees would each add one more run to make it a 11-2 final, as New York finished with 14 hits, seven of them going for extra bases. Toronto will try and salvage a series split with a win on Thursday when they send rookie left-handed Gustavo Chacin (3-0) against New York’s Mike Mussina (0-1).
The game Thursday can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 7pm EST and also on The Fan 590AM.
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