Yankees 5, Blue Jays 4: Hafner has a day

Mike Stobe

Travis Hafner drove in four of the five runs, as the Yankees won a back and forth game.

Travis Hafner got the start against a lefty, and had himself quite a day. Pronk drove in four of the five New York runs, as the Yankees came back twice to beat the Blue Jays on Saturday.

C.C. Sabathia got the start for the Yankees, and while he wasn't spectacular, he held the Blue Jays to four runs, which was a number the Yankees offense was able to better. Sabathia bounced back somewhat from his start in Tampa, going eight innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits and no walks.

While the Yankees got the win in the end, it was the Blue Jays who struck first. With one out in the top of the third inning, Maicer Izturis singled, followed by a double by Emilio Bonifacio, which moved Izturis to third. Next up was Rajai Davis, who grounded out to short, but it was enough to get the run in, and the Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead.

They added to that lead the next inning. In the top of the fourth, Jose Bautista homered off Sabathia on the first pitch of the inning to double Toronto's lead. And after that "Defensive Catcher" Chris Stewart, was anything but. After Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion singled. Next up was J.P. Arencibia, who grounded out, but advanced Encarnacion to second. A passed ball from Stewart allowed Encarnacion to move up another base, which set up Stewart's other defensive mistake. Next batter Brett Lawrie flied out to Ichiro in right field, and Ichiro's throw home had a chance to get Encarnacion at the plate, but Stewart couldn't handle the throw and the Blue Jay lead grew to 3-0.

But the bottom half of the inning saw Travis Hafner get the Yankees back into it. Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis led off the inning with a pair of walks. Next up was Hafner who hit a three run home run of lefty J.A. Happ to tie the game. But the Blue Jays retook the lead a short while later. Brett Lawrie led off the sixth inning with a home run of Sabathia, to make it 4-3 Blue Jays.

But I did say the Yankees came back twice, and they did. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Robinson Cano doubled, to put the tying run in scoring position. Next up was Vernon Wells, who singled to score Cano and the game was tied once again. After that, Kevin Youkilis grounded out, but advanced Wells to second, and Hafner came back to the plate. Vernon Wells stole third during the at bat, putting the go ahead run 90 feet away. But it didn't matter how many feet away he was, he would've scored anyway. Hafner tripled (yes, tripled) on a ball to right field to make it a 5-4 game.

The Yankees had the lead and it was up to the pitching to hold it. Sabathia did his job with a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and turned it over to Joba Chamberlain in the ninth. Chamberlain made it interesting, allowing two singles to Izturis and Bonifacio. However he got Rajai Davis to fly out and Melky Cabrera to ground into a force out ending the game, giving the Yankees a 5-4 win.

The Yankees end the series with the Blue Jays tomorrow at 1:05 eastern. Phil Hughes gets the start for the Yankees, while the offense will be matched up against R.A. Dickey.

Box score. Graph Thingy.

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