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Friday, April 19, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 9, Blue Jays 4

By Wallace Matthews

TORONTO -- A big night for the Blue Jays -- the ex-Blue Jays, that is -- propelled the Yankees to a convincing 9-4 win Friday at the Rogers Centre. Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells both showed their affection for their old park by hitting balls out of it, and with Andy Pettitte dealing like it was 2003 instead of 2013, this one was over early.

What it means: That you just can't predict baseball, Suzyn. The Blue Jays were world champions of the winter but looked like the same old Jays tonight. Brandon Morrow pitched poorly, and a lot of first-pitch swings from the offense made this an easy night for the injury-decimated Yankees.



Andy's back: Is apparently fine. After missing his previous start with a 40-year-old back that locked up on him, Andy Pettitte pitched like he was 30 again, working into the eighth inning on a tidy 90 pitches, allowing six hits, two of them infield singles, and three runs while striking out five. Jose Bautista's huge home run to center in the sixth was the only thing Pettitte can kick himself over tonight, and knowing him, I'm sure he will.

Pronk Poke: Yet another home run from Travis Hafner, this one an opposite-field liner, in the third inning, gives "Pronk" a share of the team lead with five along with Robinson Cano. Hafner also drove in the first Yankees run of the game with a first-inning double and now has 10 RBIs in 15 games.

Welcome back, Lyle: Lyle Overbay hit 83 home runs in five seasons as a Blue Jay, and Friday night, he hit another one at the Rogers Dome as an opponent, a line shot off the facing behind the center-field fence in the sixth. The ball was hit so hard and came back onto the field so quickly it was difficult at first to know whether it had hit the outfield wall and was still in play. It was Overbay's second homer as a Yankee.

You, too, Vernon: Vernon Wells -- who played here for 12 years but, judging by fan reaction, is not fondly remembered here -- made a few more enemies with a seventh-inning home run off Brett Cecil to extend the Yankees' lead to 9-3.

On second thought: The Yankees got two runs on a bizarre play in the third when Wells broke for home on Eduardo Nunez's fly to shallow center, then thought better of it and returned to the bag as Colby Rasmus fired home. But when the one-hop throw got past J.P. Arencibia -- Rasmus was charged with the error -- both Wells and Ichiro Suzuki, on second, came around to score, giving the Yankees a 5-1 lead.

Bat's all: It was a great night for offensive stats: Robinson Cano had three hits, Hafner, Wells and Cervelli had two each, Brett Gardner had a triple, and even Ichiro Suzuki, who was riding the interstate, had a pair of hard-hit doubles. Only Eduardo Nunez and Kevin Youkilis failed to get at least one hit tonight.

Paper airplane night: The big crowd (40,028) got bored early and, by the time the Yankees had opened an 8-1 lead, began amusing itself by throwing paper airplanes out of the stands. It was better than watching the home team nosedive, I suppose.

What's coming: Blogs on Pettitte, Wells, Overbay and whatever else comes out of the postgame clubhouse.

What's next: Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 2.87 ERA) gets the start in Game 2 of this three-game series, facing LHP Mark Buehrle (1-0, 7.31), first pitch at 1:07 p.m. ET.