Martin hits three-run HR, Yankees beat Blue Jays 11-4
Toronto - Russell Martin hit a three-run homer, Eric Chavez added a two-run shot and the New York Yankees maintained their one-game lead atop the AL East by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 on Friday night.
The victory let New York keep its slim lead over second-place Baltimore, which used six first-inning runs to beat Boston 9-1.
Nick Swisher had two hits and two RBIs for the Yankees, who have not lost consecutive games since a three-game skid from Sept. 2-4.
Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) won for the third time in five starts despite matching a season-high by allowing 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He gave up two runs, walked two and struck out four.
David Phelps worked 1 2-3 innings and David Robertson pitched the eighth. Cody Eppley got two outs in the ninth and Rafael Soriano finished for the Yankees.
Martin's 20th homer of the season was a career-high for the veteran catcher. He hit 19 with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007, his second season.
Chavez capped it with a two-run drive to left off Bobby Korecky in the ninth, his 15th.
Colby Rasmus hit a solo home run and Adam Lind added a two-run shot for Toronto, which lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
Swisher opened the scoring with a two-run double to right off right-hander Chad Jenkins in the first.
The top of the first ended when Curtis Granderson drilled a liner back to the mound that ripped the glove off Jenkins' left hand. The ball stayed in the glove as it flew into the air, and the rookie pitcher caught both glove and ball together to record the final out.
New York made it 3-0 in the second when Derek Jeter grounded into a bases-loaded double play.
The Blue Jays had five hits, including three doubles, against Kuroda through the first two innings but failed to score. Brett Lawrie was thrown out by Martin after straying too far off second following his leadoff double in the first, while Yunel Escobar was picked off third by Martin in the second.
Toronto scored in the fifth when Rasmus led off with a drive to right. The homer was his 23rd, matching his career high.
The Yankees broke it open with a four-run, bat-around sixth. Robinson Cano was hit on the left hand but stayed in the game, and Swisher singled before reliever Brett Cecil struck out Granderson and Raul Ibanez.
Jason Frasor came on and gave up Martin's homer. Chavez walked and Jeter lined a base hit to right before Ichiro Suzuki followed with an RBI single.
Kuroda left in the sixth after giving up a double to Kelly Johnson and a bloop single to Rajai Davis. Anthony Gose greeted David Phelps with an RBI fielder's choice, cutting it to 7-2.
The Yankees made it 8-2 on Ibanez's fielder's choice groundout in the seventh, but Lind cut it to 8-4 by homering off Phelps in the bottom half, his 11th.
Suzuki doubled and stole third in the eighth before scoring on Cano's bloop single off Aaron Loup.
Making just his second major league start, Jenkins (0-3) allowed three runs and four hits in 3 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
NOTES: Jeter's single in the sixth was his ML-leading 209th. ... New York 1B Mark Teixeira (strained left calf) had six at-bats in a simulated game, ran the bases and took ground balls Friday. He will play five innings of an instructional league game Saturday and will likely rejoin the Yankees once they return home for the final three games of the season, manager Joe Girardi said.
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