Yankees rally, sink Blue Jays

Rangers swept, fall 6 1/2 back in wild card

Francisco Cervelli celebrates after his ninth-inning single drives in the winning run in the Yankees’ comeback victory over the Blue Jays in New York. Francisco Cervelli celebrates after his ninth-inning single drives in the winning run in the Yankees’ comeback victory over the Blue Jays in New York. (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters)
Associated Press / September 17, 2009

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The Yankees ran on the field for the second straight night. This time it was to celebrate after they fought back with their bats, not their fists.

Hideki Matsui tied the score with a two-run homer in the eighth inning, Francisco Cervelli followed with a winning single in the ninth and New York capped its next-to-last homestand of the regular season with a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night.

“This is as good as it gets when you’re finishing off a homestand and going on a tough road trip,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s nice to win a game and feel like you can put what happened behind us.’’

A day after brawling in the Bronx, the Blue Jays and Yankees made it through nine innings calmly on the first chilly night of late summer, and the Yankees came away with their 14th walkoff win.

Without Jorge Posada, serving the first of a three-game suspension for his role in Tuesday night’s fight, New York rallied against Scott Downs on Matsui’s 25th homer.

Brett Gardner, who entered an inning earlier, singled off Jason Frasor (6-3) leading off the ninth. He times all pitchers to the plate, and had Frasor at 1.2 seconds on his first two pitches to Derek Jeter, who fell behind 0-2 and fouled off a pitch. Gardner then took off for second, estimating Frasor took 1.4 seconds to get the ball to the plate, and he made it safely.

Athletics 4, Rangers 0 - Trevor Cahill limited host Texas to one hit over seven innings and last-place Oakland completed a three-game series sweep.

The Rangers are 1-5 on this homestand, and have scored only one run in their four-game losing streak.

Texas, which now has 17 games left, is 6 1/2 games behind wild-card leader Boston.

Dodgers 3, Pirates 1 - Matt Kemp hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning, Ronnie Belliard added a solo shot in the eighth, and host Los Angeles beat last-place Pittsburgh to complete a three-game sweep.

Kemp sent an 0-and-2 pitch from Kevin Hart (1-6) into the right-field pavilion for his 24th homer, driving in Belliard and giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead en route to their 38th comeback win of the season.

Belliard made it 3-1 in the eighth, hitting the first pitch from Phil Dumatrait over the wall in center

Phillies 6, Nationals 1 - Joe Blanton tossed six scoreless innings, Jayson Werth hit a grand slam, and host Philadelphia beat Washington.

Blanton (10-7) allowed five hits and struck out seven. The Phillies were one out away from recording three consecutive shutouts for the first time in 40 years when Willie Harris singled in a run off Tyler Walker.

Rockies 4, Giants 3 - Jorge De La Rosa pitched eight scoreless innings to win his sixth straight start against host San Francisco and Troy Tulowitzki homered to help Colorado avoid a sweep.

Ian Stewart homered for the Rockies, who had lost four straight games, including the first two in this series, which helped the Giants shave three games off Colorado’s wild-card lead.

Brewers 9, Cubs 5 - Braden Looper pitched five innings for his career-high 13th win and Alcides Escobar went 4 for 5 with three RBIs as Milwaukee won in Chicago.

Looper (13-6), who won 12 games in each of the two previous seasons with the Cardinals, struggled at times. He allowed five runs and nine hits, including a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 2 - Josh Johnson pitched six effective innings to help Florida win in St. Louis.

Mariners 4, White Sox 1 - Ryan Rowland-Smith (4-3) pitched eight innings to lead host Seattle over Chicago.

Reds 6, Astros 5 - Joey Votto scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning and Cincinnati overcame Jeff Keppinger’s first career multihomer game to defeat visiting Houston.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 5 - Everth Cabrera’s RBI single in the bottom of 10th inning lifted San Diego past Arizona.

Braves 6, Mets 5 - Host Atlanta took advantage of Daniel Murphy’s error to score two runs in the ninth inning off Francisco Rodriguez and beat New York for its season-best sixth straight win.

Tigers 4, Royals 3 - Placido Polanco hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning, lifting host Detroit over Kansas City.

Orioles 4, Rays 2 - Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Russ Springer, giving host Baltimore a victory over fading Tampa Bay.

Twins 7, Indians 3 - Michael Cuddyer homered, doubled, and drove in three runs as host Minnesota swept Cleveland.

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