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Posada falls triple short of cycle against Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- With the help of a big offensive performance,
Carl Pavano got his first win with the New York Yankees.

Pavano scattered seven hits over eight innings, and Jorge Posada
hit a three-run homer to lead the Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 11-2 Wednesday night in the opener of a two-game series.

"No matter how many runs we scored, no matter how long he was
sitting down, he went out there and was in command and that was so
important for us," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "This is the
kind of offense we can throw at people, but what makes it possible
is to go out there and control the game as a pitching staff."

Pavano, who signed a $39.95 million, four-year contract, didn't
expect the victory to ease the pressure on him.

"I don't know if I'll ever be relaxed," he said. "I push for
success. This was a good outing, and I know five days from now I'm
getting the ball again and I expect to do even better."

New York entered with five losses in six games, tied with Tampa
Bay for last in the AL East at 5-9. But for the second time in
three games, the Yankees took a big early lead, going ahead 7-1 in
the fourth inning.

Pavano (1-2) pitched well but didn't get a decision against
Boston in his first start, then was knocked out by a line drive off
his head against Baltimore and pitched poorly against the Orioles
in his third.

He was in control against the Blue Jays, allowing two runs, just
one of them earned. He struck out three and walked none.

"It just wasn't one of those wins where we outscored the other
team," Torre said. "That was a great outing. He could have gone
nine innings without a hit."

New York backed Pavano with 14 hits. Posada went 3-for-5,
falling a triple shy of a cycle, and driving in four runs. He had
an RBI double in the four-run fourth, singled in the fifth and hit
his first home run of the season in the sixth.

"It's good to get that one and get rolling," Posada said. "It
seems like when you stay short, good things happen, and this was a
perfect example today."

Former Yankee Ted Lilly (0-2) allowed six runs and six hits --
including five doubles -- in 3 1/3 innings.

Yankees designated hitter Ruben Sierra left with a stiff right
elbow after doubling twice. Center fielder Bernie Williams came out
because of tenderness in his left knee after singling in the
seventh.

"Sierra's going to probably be a few days," Torre said. "He
had a little biceps strain."

Williams didn't expect to be out long.

"They don't think it's going to be that serious," he said. "I
should be there tomorrow."

New York took a 3-0 lead in the second on consecutive doubles by
Hideki Matsui, Alex Rodriguez and Sierra, and Tony Womack's
broken-bat RBI single with two outs.

Toronto's Alex Rios tripled off the wall in right in the third
and scored on Orlando Hudson s sacrifice fly, but the Yankees broke
open the game in the fourth. After Posada's double, Derek Jeter and
Bernie Williams had run-scoring singles and Rodriguez drew a
bases-loaded walk.

Posada homered in the sixth off Matt Whiteside. Womack was hit
on the left knee by a pitch during the inning but stayed in the
game.

Game notes
Sheffield learned before the game that he will not be
punished by major league baseball for his scuffle with a fan who
interfered with him at Boston's Fenway Park on April 14. ...
Yankees batting coach Don Mattingly turned 44. ... Toronto's Greg
Myers stopped an 0-for-9 streak with a pinch-hit single in the
sixth.