The Blue Jays scored four runs off Andy Pettitte in the second inning yesterday, which was more than enough for Yankee-killer A.J. Burnett. The Yanks got a man as far as second just twice through the first eight innings and didn't break through until Jason Giambi's opposite-field solo homer off a tiring Burnett in the ninth inning. Jorge Posada followed Giambi with a single to bounce Burnett, but facing closer B.J. Ryan, Robinson Cano bounced into a double play to give Toronto a 4-1 victory in the game and a 2-1 victory in the series.
The Jays got their breakout inning going when Bobby Abreu completely misjudged a would-by fly out to right into a double. Abreu then spent the rest of the game making up for his blunder, but to no avail. Abreu led off the top of the fourth with a double, but the middle of the Yankee order couldn't even get him to third base. With men on the corners in the bottom of the fourth inning, Marco Scutaro, whose three-run homer capped the Jay's four-run second inning, lifted a foul ball to shallow right field. Abreu made an impressive ranging catch, whirled, and fired a strike to Posada to nail Scott Rolen attempting to score for an inning-saving double play. In his next at-bat, Abreu reached on an infield single and got to second on an Alex Rodriguez single, but was again stranded at the keystone.
Abreu was the only Yankee to reach second base all day other than Giambi on his ninth-inning home run. Peter Abraham reports that all but seven of the Yankees 32 plate appearances against Burnett were over within three pitches, four of them being three-pitch strike outs. Scutaro was the third opposing in the last week who failed to get down a bunt and then homered in the same at-bat.
The Yankees enter the break having scored 3.67 runs per game in their last 15 contests and 2.15 runs per game in 13 of those 15 games. They are six games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East and 5.5 games behind the second-place Tampa Bay Rays. They're in fourth place in the Wild Card race behind the Rays, Twins (3 GB), and A's (1 GB), the last of whom they will face in their first series after the break.
Meanwhile, the Futures Game was played back at the Stadium. For all of the promotion the All-Star Game and associated events have received in the past week or so, the Futures Game seemed to go completely unmentioned. The Tino Martinez-managed World team beat the U.S. squad 3-0. Yankee catching prospect Jesus Montero contributed a single in two at-bats.