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Yankees sent limping home

Offense sagging in loss to Morrow

Brandon Morrow gave up just four singles in eight innings for Toronto, picking up his first victory since Aug. 17. Brandon Morrow gave up just four singles in eight innings for Toronto, picking up his first victory since Aug. 17. (Abelimages/Getty Images)
Associated Press / September 19, 2011

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TORONTO - The Yankees are hoping home is where a division will be won and baseball history will be made.

Mariano Rivera was denied a chance to go for the career saves record yesterday when Adam Lind homered twice to back Brandon Morrow and lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-0 victory.

New York went 4-6 on a trip that started with a makeup game at Baltimore and took the team to Anaheim and Seattle before wrapping up in Canada.

“It’s been a tough road trip,’’ manager Joe Girardi said. “This has been a really, really tough stretch. I know our guys are pretty worn down. Hopefully, they get to sleep in their own beds and catch up a little bit.’’

Alex Rodriguez, who played for the second straight day after missing six games because a sore left thumb, was happy to have the travel over for now.

“I feel like we’ll be energized getting home, without a question,’’ Rodriguez said. “It feels like we’ve been gone for about a month.’’

Although they’ll be back in the Bronx, the schedule doesn’t get much easier - and doesn’t include any offdays. The Yankees play host to Minnesota in an afternoon makeup game today, then play four against hard-charging Tampa Bay, including a day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

“We’ve got to go home and play better, there’s no doubt at about it,’’ Girardi said.

New York, which remained a season-high 4 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Red Sox in the AL East, has lost three of four and seven of 11.

What had been a five-game homestand is now eight because of makeups, and it ends with three games against the Red Sox. While at home, the Yankees hope to clinch their 15th playoff berth in 16 seasons.

“We’re all looking forward to getting back there because we haven’t been there in a while,’’ Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said.

Rivera matched Trevor Hoffman with his 601st save in Saturday’s 7-6 win.

Morrow (10-11) gave up four hits in eight innings, struck out eight, and walked one. The righthander, who retired 12 in a row during one stretch, had been 0-4 in six starts since beating Seattle Aug. 17.

“I needed that one just to get my confidence back,’’ Morrow said. “I’m still trying to finish strong and that’s a good place to start.’’

All four hits off him were singles, and three didn’t get out of the infield. “He had some of the best stuff I’ve seen all year,’’ New York’s Eric Chavez said.

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