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Hughes goes seven strong as Yankees down Blue Jays

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Associated Press
8/28/2012 11:18:33 PM
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NEW YORK -- Phil Hughes had another fine start at home, Nick Swisher extended his torrid streak with an RBI single and the New York Yankees handed Ricky Romero his 11th straight loss Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Hughes (13-11) won his sixth consecutive decision at Yankee Stadium, giving up only Adeiny Hechavarria's first major league homer in seven effective innings. He allowed four hits and walked three.

Rafael Soriano bounced back from a blown save Monday night, when he gave up a go-ahead homer to Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth, by working a perfect inning to finish the four-hitter for his 34th save in 37 tries.

Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly to help the Yankees to their fifth win in 12 games. They beat Romero (8-12) for the third time during his winless skid.

The left-hander has not won in 12 starts since June 22. The Blue Jays have provided little help, though, giving him just 17 runs of support in his last 10 starts.

Romero did rebound from a wild outing against Detroit in which he walked eight in 5 1-3 innings. This time, he walked two and yielded five hits and two runs in seven innings.

With sluggers Mark Teixeira out after straining his left calf Monday and Alex Rodriguez sidelined since late July because of a broken hand, manager Joe Girardi put Yankees newcomer Steve Pearce in the No. 4 spot in the lineup because he has decent numbers against lefties. Pearce was acquired Monday from the Houston Astros for cash.

The designated hitter scored on Granderson's sacrifice fly in the fourth after he had walked, advanced on a wild pitch and went to third on a groundout by Russell Martin, batting fifth despite a .196 average coming in.

Pearce and Martin went a combined 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. But Swisher had an RBI single in the third inning for his 21st RBI in 20 games since moving into the second spot in New York's lineup.

The Blue Jays dropped to 12-26 since Jose Bautista first went on the disabled list July 17 because of a left wrist injury. The three-time All-Star was activated Friday but went back on the DL two games later with the same problem. He will have season-ending surgery next week to stabilize a tendon and is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Hechavarria cut it to 2-1 in the fifth with a high fly that landed several rows back in short right field. Yankees fans often throw home run balls back on the field but not this time. During warmups for the bottom half, Blue Jays right fielder Moises Sierra was talking to fans in the area where the ball cleared the fence.

Toronto had a chance in the sixth, when Hughes walked the first two batters. But he got Adam Lind to hit a soaring fly that landed in Swisher's glove right in front of the 314-foot sign in the right-field corner. Robinson Cano then made a leaping grab of Yunel Escobar's liner to second and threw to third for a double play.

NOTES: Hughes has lost his last five road starts. ... Rodriguez took batting practice on the field for the first time since his injury. He also ran the bases and fielded grounders. "So far, so good," A-Rod said. Girardi said the slugger will do the same Wednesday and then the team will discuss a plan, which could include one or two rehab games. ... LHP Andy Pettitte (broken left ankle) threw on flat ground. Girardi hopes he'll have a bullpen session this weekend. ... Blue Jays manager John Farrell said neither Henderson Alvarez nor Aaron Laffey would miss any time after being by batted balls Monday. Alvarez took a hard grounder off his left shin and Laffey was hit by a drive off his left calf. Both are day to day.

Phil Hughes  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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