WHAT IT MEANS: An important piece of the Yankees’ rotation returned. And while Andy Pettitte was anything but razor sharp, he pitched pretty well considering he hadn’t started since fracturing his ankle on June 27.
In the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over the injury-depleted Blue Jays in Game 1 of their day-night doubleheader Wednesday, the 40-year-old left-hander hurled five scoreless innings to pick up his first win since June 5. Pettitte (4-3) threw 75 pitches, gave up four hits, walked two and struck out three. His fastball velocity was mostly in the 88-90 mph range.
Pettitte escaped first-and-third jams in the second, third and fourth before wrapping up his outing with a 1-2-3, seven-pitch fifth. Toronto was without big boppers Edwin Encarnacion (40) and Jose Batista (27), who have combined for 67 homers.
The Yankees (84-63) have now won three in a row, and moved a half-game up on Baltimore in the AL East.
PITCH IT, SORIANO: Closer Rafael Soriano converted his fifth four-out save of the season, and 41st save overall. Soriano inherited two runners in the eighth and walked the bases loaded, but rebounded to get Rajai Davis to line to left to end the inning.
ROCKY ROB: David Robertson gave up four hits and two runs in two-thirds of an inning. The right-handed setup man has surrendered 15 hits and seven runs in nine September innings.
QUICK START: After Pettitte worked around a one-out walk in the top half of the first, the Yankees provided him with three runs in the bottom half courtesy of an RBI double by Robinson Cano, an RBI groundout by Alex Rodriguez and a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson. Nick Swisher later added an insurance run in the ninth with an RBI single.
LEADING OFF: With Derek Jeter getting the afternoon off, Ichiro Suzuki was inserted into the No. 1 slot in the batting order and had three hits and two runs scored; Jeter remains one hit away from 200 on the year. Suzuki also made a difficult basket catch to preserve New York’s 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth.
OMAR > BABE: Omar Vizquel (2,873) surpassed Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list with an RBI double in the eighth inning.