Series: Game 2 of 4

NY Yankees leads 2-0 (as of 8/27)

Game 1: Thursday, August 26
NY Yankees7Final
Game 2: Friday, August 27
NY Yankees8Final
Game 3: Saturday, August 28
NY Yankees18Final
in 10
Game 4: Sunday, August 29
NY Yankees4Final

Yankees 8

(80-48, 37-30 away)

Blue Jays 7

(53-76, 31-33 home)

7:05 PM ET, August 27, 2004

Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

123456789 R H E
NYY 110040200 8 9 0
TOR 001210300 7 12 0

W: T. Sturtze (5-2)

L: J. Miller (2-3)

S: T. Gordon (4)

Matsui, Jeter, Williams pick up slack

TORONTO (AP) -- Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui gave Esteban Loaiza an early lead, a margin he couldn't hold. Bernie Williams helped regain the lead, and Loazia struggled again.

No matter how much his teammates help him, Loaiza knows it might not be enough to keep his spot in the Yankees' rotation.

Jeter, Matsui and Williams each homered, and the Yankees held on for an 8-7 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Loaiza failed to make it out of the fifth inning in another sub-par start since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the July 31 trade for Jose Contreras. Loaiza hung his head when manager Joe Torre came out to the mound with one out in the fifth to remove the right-hander. Loaiza left to boos from Yankees fans scattered throughout SkyDome.

"It's his decision. I know I haven't been pitching well here," Loaiza said. "As long I'm a part of the team, a part of this. Things happen for a reason. Hopefully, it will change around for me."

Loaiza, 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts for the Yankees, is expected to lose his starting job when New York goes back to a five-man rotation after Monday's off-day. He allowed four runs on seven hits.

"Right now he's not pitching with confidence," said Torre, who will think about who will be removed from the rotation this weekend. "I wasn't comfortable with what I was seeing."

Tanyon Sturtze (5-2) pitched 2 1-3 innings for the win. No Yankee starter has posted a win since Jon Lieber beat Seattle on Aug. 13 -- 13 games.

Carlos Delgado's three-run homer off left-hander C.J. Nitkowski cut New York's lead to 8-7 in the seventh.

"Carlos had a good start to his career off of me, three home runs in his first six at-bats against me, and then I got out him out six times in a row and now I think he thinks he's starting another turn, but I'll make sure to put a stop to that," Nitkowski said.

Paul Quantrill allowed two runners to reach in the eighth, but Tom Gordon got Orlando Hudson to ground out to end the threat and pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

With the win, New York maintained its 5½ games lead over the second-place Boston Red Sox in he AL East.

The Yankees have won nine of 11 this year against Toronto, which has lost four straight and 17 of 23.

"We came back, we just came up a little short," Delgado said. "When you're playing a good team like that you can't give them any chances."

Jeter homered off Justin Miller (2-3) in the first, and Matsui homered in the second to give New York a 2-0 lead.

Toronto's Reed Johnson hit an RBI double in the third, and Gabe Gross and Chris Woodward hit consecutive run-scoring singles in the fourth to give Toronto a 3-2 lead.

Williams hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Miller, and Matsui's sacrifice fly and John Olerud's RBI single inning gave New York a 6-3 lead.

Miller tied a career high by allowed six runs on six hits and six walks in 4 2-3 innings.

Hudson led off the fifth a double before Delgado chased Loaiza with an RBI single.

After reliever Kevin Frederick walked pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra with the bases loaded in the sixth, David Maurer replaced him and did the same to Kenny Lofton, giving the Yankees an 8-4 lead.

Game notes

CF Lofton made a nice leaping catch at the wall on Delgado's drive in the fourth. ... Loaiza won 21 games last year and finished second to Toronto's Roy Halladay in the AL Cy Young voting. ... Toronto CF Vernon Wells returned to the lineup as the DH after missing three straight game with tightness in his right calf. He went 0-for-5.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press