Sheffield hit a three-run homer, Enrique Wilson also connected
and the Yankees battered the Blue Jays 10-3 Wednesday night in
their first meeting of the season.
The AL East-leading Yankees play the last-place Blue Jays in 19
of their final 70 games. This one was over quickly, with New York
taking an early seven-run lead and Alex Rodriguez's infield single
giving every starter a hit by the fifth inning.
"It's a strange schedule," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
"This is the worst schedule we've had in the nine years I've been
"Sure, you're curious how you're going to play them because you
haven't played them all year," he said. "We hit more than they
Slumping Bernie Williams added a pair of RBI singles for New
York before a robust crowd of 53,031.
Sheffield's three-run shot was his 19th of the season and 398th
of his career, tying Dale Murphy and Andres Galarraga for 39th
place on the all-time list.
Sheffield made it 9-2, connecting on the first pitch from Bob
File after he relieved Pat Hentgen in the third inning.
"It's an adjustment for me because I'm getting to learn their
pitching staff," Sheffield said. "You wish you would have played
every team by now."
Sheffield more than made up for the absences of Jeter and
Giambi. Jeter did not play a day after he was hit by a pitch from
Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano.
"I told him, 'We're not the Yankees without Jeter," Sheffield
Jeter was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in a bone
between his wrist and hand. He will not wear a cast and told
general manager Brian Cashman that he intends to play Thursday
afternoon against Toronto.
"It could've been worse, but it's not good, either," Cashman
Hentgen (2-9) extended the longest losing streak of his career
to seven decisions. The former AL Cy Young winner has been tagged
especially hard lately, dropping four straight starts and giving up
25 earned runs in 12 1-3 innings during that span.
"I just had an awful game," Hentgen said.
Javier Vazquez (11-6) was not sharp once again, yet did enough
to post another victory. He was in constant trouble, but given a
big edge, limited Toronto to three runs in six innings.
"He's all over the place," Torre said. "He just got jumpy.
But he'll get it. He had it earlier this year."
Coming off a 1-0, 14-inning loss the previous day at Oakland,
the Blue Jays had little time to rest in New York.
The Yankees scored five times in the second on a two-run single
by Jorge Posada, an RBI single by Williams, a sacrifice fly by
Miguel Cairo and a wild pitch. Williams was in a 2-for-41 rut when
he got his hit.
New York broke it open with four more runs in the third.
Williams singled home another run and Sheffield homered for the
second straight day.
Wilson hit his career-high sixth home run leading off the fifth.
Giambi, recently bothered by an intestinal parasite,
underwent more tests. Slowed by fatigue, a new set of doctors is
trying to determine what's wrong. "I had that light at the end of
the tunnel, but now it seems to be fading away," he said. "I'm
not going anywhere. It's like a stalemate." ... Blue Jays RF Alex
Rios made a strong throw to nail Hideki Matsui at the plate when he
tried to score from second on Ruben Sierra's single. ...
Catalanotto made his first start since June 17 and matched a career
high with three hits.