Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 8/5)

Game 1: Friday, August 5
NY Yankees6Final
Game 2: Saturday, August 6
NY Yankees5Final
Game 3: Sunday, August 7
NY Yankees6Final

Yankees 6

(58-49, 25-28 away)

Blue Jays 2

(55-53, 30-23 home)

7:07 PM ET, August 5, 2005

Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

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NYY 200100021 6 11 0
TOR 000000101 2 9 2

W: A. Small (3-0)

L: G. Chacin (11-6)

S: M. Rivera (29)

Sheffield homers to help keep Small unbeaten

TORONTO (AP) -- Gary Sheffield did his job on a day he dealt with controversy.

Sheffield homered, and journeyman Aaron Small won again to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Sheffield, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez faced questions before the game about an interview Sheffield gave to New York magazine in which he strongly suggested he was the leader of the team. Sheffield also said Friday that Jeter is the captain of the Yankees, but not the leader.

Manager Joe Torre said he would talk to Sheffield about his comments.

There didn't seem to be a problem with those involved as Jeter led off the game with a triple off the top of the wall in right. One out later, Sheffield hit a two-run homer, his 22nd, off Gustavo Chacin (11-6).

"He certainly doesn't shy away from any controversy or back off the way he feels just because it makes somebody else happy," Torre said. "But he knows what his job is. No matter what the situation or what the talk is, he still goes after it."

Sheffield rushed out of the clubhouse after the game without talking to the media.

Small (3-0) has helped stabilize the back of the Yankees' battered rotation, winning three of his four starts since being brought up from the minors July 17. The 33-year-old right-hander hadn't started a major league game since 1996 before last month, but injuries to Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang forced the Yankees to search for starters.

"I know I'm an insurance policy. I've been that for the last six or seven years," Small said. "This has been a dream come true. After my first start at Yankee stadium I said 'Don't pinch me, I don't want to wake up,' but now it's serious time and I want to help this team any way I can."

Small allowed one run and seven hits, striking out two and walking two in 6 1/3 innings. He benefited from two inning-ending double plays, including one with the bases loaded in the fifth.

"We had our chances tonight, we let it slip away," said Toronto catcher Gregg Zaun, who hit into an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

New York reliever Tanyon Sturtze gave up a run in the ninth, and Mariano Rivera got the last out for his 28th straight save since blowing his first two chances in the season-opening series against Boston.

Russ Adams drove in both runs for the Blue Jays with two RBI singles.

Bernie Williams singled and Andy Philips and Jeter walked before Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to give New York a 3-0 lead.

Chacin allowed three runs and six hits and issued a career-high six walks in five innings. The rookie left-hander won his previous five starts.

Small loaded the bases in the fifth, but escaped the jam when Frank Catalanotto hit into an inning-ending double play. Vernon Wells doubled and Shea Hillenbrand singled in sixth, but Small induced the double play from Zaun.

Eric Hinske doubled in the seventh before Adams chased Small with his run-scoring single.

Jeter and Jorge Posada had RBI singles in the eighth to extend New York's lead to 5-1, and Tony Womack added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Game notes

The attendance of 43,688 was Toronto's largest crowd since opening day. ... Fans booed when a Yankees fan proposed to his girlfriend on the videoboard. ... Toronto ace Roy Halladay will not return from the disabled list on Sunday as the club had hoped. Halladay was expected to come back from his fractured left leg and start Sunday against New York, but he is still experiencing pain while planting his foot during his delivery.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press