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Yankees 9, Blue Jays 2

Giambi, Yankees win sixth straight

TORONTO - At 20 games above .500 for the first time this season, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre is starting to feel comfortable talking about a playoff berth.

Jason Giambi hit a grand slam, Jorge Posada added a solo homer, and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-2, last night for their sixth straight victory.

New York (82-62) has won 10 of its last 13 games to move a season-high 20 games over .500 and is four games ahead of Detroit in the AL wild-card race.

"When you make 20, you have to be seriously considering playing in October," Torre said. "Right now we have our fate in our hands. If we go out there and keep winning ballgames, we'll be fine."

Giambi, who was 2 for 27 over his past 10 games, went 1 for 3, hitting the 12th grand slam of his career. "That was a big one to get off my back," Giambi said. "It was exciting. . . . With the bases loaded you know he doesn't want to walk in a run."

New York has gone 61-33 since May 29, when a 3-2 loss to Toronto dropped the Yankees a season-worst eight games below .500 at 21-29.

The Yankees got solid pitching from righthander Phil Hughes, who allowed two runs - one earned - and three hits in six innings to win for the first time since Aug. 10, at Cleveland. Hughes (3-3) walked three, struck out one and retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

Edwar Ramirez struck out five in two innings of scoreless relief, and Ross Ohlendorf closed it out in the ninth in his major league debut.

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