Series: Game 2 of 4

Toronto leads 2-0 (as of 5/23)

Game 1: Thursday, May 22
NY Yankees3
Game 2: Friday, May 23
NY Yankees2
Game 3: Saturday, May 24
NY Yankees2
Game 4: Sunday, May 25
NY Yankees3

Blue Jays 6

(25-24, 16-12 away)

Yankees 2

(29-19, 11-12 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 23, 2003

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

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    TOR 030100110 6 9 0
    NYY 100000001 2 6 1

    W: K. Escobar (2-1)

    L: M. Mussina (7-3)

    Yankees lose again at home, lose hold on first

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Kelvim Escobar and the Toronto Blue Jays made it yet another frustrating night for Joe Torre's team at Yankee Stadium.

    Escobar outpitched Mike Mussina and the Blue Jays sent banged-up New York to its fifth straight home loss, 6-2 Friday night.

    "Right now, we're not too good," Torre said. "Yeah, I'm puzzled because I know we're better than this.

    "We need to do a better job of giving ourselves a chance to win."

    The Yankees are in their longest skid at home since the middle of the 2000 season. Their ninth defeat in 10 home games dropped them out of the AL East lead for the first time this year. They trail Boston by a half-game.

    "We're not hitting, we're not pitching, we're not catching the ball," Mussina said. "We're not doing anything.

    "As good as we were in the beginning of the season, that's how bad we are right now," he said.

    The game began about a half-hour late because of rain, and the crowd of 34,134 had little to cheer about after Jason Giambi's RBI double in the first inning. Escobar and the Blue Jays' bullpen kept the fans quiet on a chilly, damp night.

    "Tonight at the beginning of the game, I didn't feel very good. But at the end, I felt stronger," Escobar said. "I always get stronger later in the game."

    The Yankees played without two of their top hitters. All-Star center fielder Bernie Williams was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of torn cartilage in his left knee -- he's expected to miss four-to-six weeks -- and shortstop Derek Jeter was scratched right before gametime with mild stiffness in his left hamstring.

    Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was ejected after a rough slide into shortstop Mike Bordick on a double play that ended the eighth. Posada had just been hit by a pitch for the third time in two days, and he raised both arms and shoved Bordick.

    Second base umpire Fieldin Culbreth called Posada out for interference, then tossed him.

    "He stood up, said something to me and that was it," Culbreth

    said. "I understand his frustration, but I couldn't let him say what he did. But that was it -- he didn't have anything else to say."

    Bordick and the Blue Jays ran off the field without incident while Torre came out to discuss the call with Culbreth.

    Posada left the locker room without comment.

    Bordick and Shannon Stewart each drove in two runs as Toronto won for the eighth time in 10 road games. The Blue Jays scored in four innings, and each one started with a leadoff walk.

    Escobar (2-1), who got off to a poor start this year and was moved from the closer's role to the rotation, earned his first victory as a starter since he shut out Baltimore on Aug. 25, 2001.

    With a fastball reaching 97 mph, Escobar gave up one run and three hits in five innings. He was pulled after 74 pitches in his second start of the year.

    "I didn't think he was going to make it to the fifth inning," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.

    Pete Walker, Tanyon Sturtze, and Jeff Tam combined for three shutout innings of relief. Cliff Politte gave up Raul Mondesi's home run in the ninth.

    The Blue Jays began the night leading the majors in hits and runs. Escobar felt confident his team would keep up its offensive pace.

    "You know they're going to score some runs," he said. "You just have to go out there and stay away from the big inning."

    Mussina (7-3) lost his third straight start. A victory would have made him the top winner in the majors this season, but he allowed seven hits and four runs in the first four innings.

    Bordick, Mussina's former teammate in Baltimore, hit a two-run single up the middle in the second. Bordick extended his hitting streak to 13 games, tying a career high.

    With two outs, Frank Catalanotto grounded an RBI single under the glove of Jeter's substitute, Enrique Wilson.

    Stewart hit an RBI single in the fourth and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

    Game notes

    Carlos Delgado hit his 291st career double, tying the Toronto record set by Tony Fernandez. ... Juan Rivera, promoted from Triple-A Columbus to take Williams' roster spot, went 1-for-4. ... Walker was activated from the disabled list before the game. ... Mussina slipped to 7-1 against Toronto while pitching for the Yankees. ... A fan ran on the field while the Yankees were warming up for the fifth inning. The man was out there for a while before security personnel converged on him after he neared Soriano at second base.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press