WHAT IT MEANS: It means the Ichiro Show continued on Thursday night. A day after going a combined 7-for-8 in the double-header sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, Suzuki belted a homer and doubled, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the New York Yankees' 10-7 win.
The Yankees moved a full game ahead of idle Baltimore in the AL East race with 13 games to go.
THE GOOD: The fourth inning. It started with Suzuki's two-run double, which gave him hits in seven straight plate appearances. It ended with Swisher staring at his towering grand slam, which landed deep in the right-field seats. The seven-run inning tied a season high for the Yanks. For Swisher, it was his third grand slam of the season.
LOWE LOOKING GOOD: Derek Lowe came in and got the job done out of the Yankees' pen. The 39-year-old tossed two scoreless innings, striking out two and walking two. He has posted zeroes on the scoreboard in his past four outings (five innings). ... Rafael Soriano, who saved both wins on Wednesday, got the night off Thursday. David Robertson came in and got the save.
THE SO-SO: Maybe the best thing about Phil Hughes' night was he had good run support. Hughes' stuff seemed strong -- he struck out nine Jays -- but he got banged around at times on Thursday.
His final line? Four hits and four runs allowed in five innings. He walked three and forced a run in with a hit-by-pitch in the second. He gave up a home run -- his 34th allowed on the season -- in the fifth inning.
THE BAD: Alex Rodriguez finished 1-for-5 with a strikeout. He was booed lustily after going down looking in the eighth. Rodriguez will be happy to see Toronto leave town. He finished 1-for-12 with six strikeouts in the three-game series.
COREY STORY: Cory Wade struggled on Thursday. He gave up three runs on three hits in a third of an inning, including a towering homer by Kelly Johnson. Two of those runs came courtesy of batters touching up Joba Chamberlain, who allowed two inherited runners to score while giving up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
WHAT'S NEXT: A three-game series against Oakland. CC Sabathia takes the mound on Friday.