for this game

Thomas drives in game-winner as Blue Jays avoid sweep

Sep 14, 2007 - 3:18 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Toronto Blue Jays have looked lost against the New York Yankees for much of the past three nights, but Frank Thomas found something in his stroke on Thursday.

Thomas drove in both runs for the Blue Jays as they posted a 2-1 victory over the Yankees and avoided a sweep of the three-game series.

Alex Rios singled leading off the ninth and came around to score the winning run for Toronto, which snapped a five-game losing streak.

"It's a big win, a win we really needed," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We shut down a good hitting team - a team that's very hot."

The Blue Jays lost the first two games of the series by a combined 13-3 score, and managed just one hit in seven-plus innings off New York rookie starter Ian Kennedy.

Toronto had more success off hefty reliever Chris Britton (0-1), who failed to record an out in the ninth.

Rios lined a single up the middle on the first pitch he saw from Britton and immediately stole second base to put himself into scoring position for Thomas. It proved to be a good move as Thomas drove Britton's 1-2 offering to center and watched Rios slide in safely with the winning run.

"It was important to get (Rios) to second base there," Thomas said. "I was thinking (Britton) was going to throw me sliders so I was just trying to get him over. I'm happy he threw me back-to-back fastballs and I was able to hit it back up the middle."

"I wanted to throw that last pitch off the plate, but it was a little better than I wanted it to be," Britton said. "It's very disappointing. Nobody likes to go out there and lose."

Scott Downs (3-2) was credited with the win after recording the final two outs in the top of the ninth for the Blue Jays.

The Yankees got another strong effort from Kennedy, who surrendered just one run and one hit in seven-plus frames. The 22-year-old righthander struck out seven and walked four in just his third major league start.

"It was a good game," Kennedy said. "You pitch your (rear) off and sometimes you don't get a win - and sometimes you do lousy and end up getting a win somehow. That's just the way baseball is."

Kennedy retired 15 straight batters at one point and has now allowed a total of four earned runs in 19 major league innings.

"Kennedy was remarkable," New York manager Joe Torre said. "Absolutely remarkable. He went about his business like he has been in the league for 10 years."

The lone blemish on his line came in the opening frame. Kennedy walked No. 2 hitter Russ Adams and two batters later, Thomas hit a drive to the center field wall that Melky Cabrera failed to track down, allowing Adams to come around for the 1-0 lead.

Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett matched Kennedy frame for frame, yielding five hits and one run in eight innings. The veteran righthander struck out eight and walked two in his second straight eight-inning, one-run effort.

"I did a good job of pounding the strike zone," Burnett said. "It's just fun to go up against (the Yankees). I had a real lively fastball tonight, and when you mix in some curveballs it gives them a lot of other things to think about."

The oft-injured Burnett certainly seems healthy now, going 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in seven starts since coming off the disabled list on August 12. Control has always been a problem for the hard-throwing righthander, but he threw 70 of his 120 pitches for strikes on Thursday and has issued two or fewer walks in each of his last three outings.

New York got on the board in the third inning when Johnny Damon hit a solo homer - his 11th blast of the season.

"When I face (Burnett) I just try to battle him as much as I can," said Damon, who had just one hit in 11 career at-bats against Burnett before the home run. "He's one of the best power pitchers of our time. He's not a comfortable at-bat."

The Yankees had a chance to take control in the top of the ninth, notching a pair of hits against two Toronto relievers, but Cabrera's line drive with runners on second and third was snared by first baseman Lyle Overbay, who flipped to Downs to preserve the tie.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY YANKEES 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
    TORONTO 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYY - IAN KENNEDY, LUIS VIZCAINO (8TH), CHRIS BRITTON (9TH) AND JOSE
    MOLINA
    TOR - A.J. BURNETT, CASEY JANSSEN (9TH), SCOTT DOWNS
    (9TH) AND GREGG ZAUN, CURTIS THIGP

    Sep 13 9:44 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    FINAL SCORE: TORONTO 2, NY YANKEES 1

    Yankees vs. Blue JaysSep 13 9:44 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Yankees vs. Blue JaysSep 13 9:44 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Yankees vs. Blue JaysSep 13 9:23 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHNNY DAMON (11) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF A.J. BURNETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.313, 0-FOR-2)

    Yankees vs. Blue JaysSep 13 8:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED RUSS ADAMS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F THOMAS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 0
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M STAIRS (.310, 19 HR, 59 RBI)

    Yankees vs. Blue JaysSep 13 7:23 PM
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    Yankees vs. Blue JaysAug 25 3:27 AM