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Pettitte tries to inch Yanks closer to playoffs vs. Jays

7:02 AM, Sep 29, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Andy Pettitte goes after his third straight win since returning from the disabled list on Saturday when the New York Yankees try to move one step closer to a postseason spot against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

New York maintained its one-game lead in the American League East on Friday, as Russell Martin blasted a three-run homer in the Yankees' 11-4 rout of the Blue Jays.

Nick Swisher stroked a two-run double in the opening frame and Eric Chavez book-ended the victory with a two-run home run in the ninth inning.

The Yankees, though, failed to gain any ground on Baltimore in the division, as the Orioles fired a one-hitter in a 9-1 home win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) labored through 5 1/3 innings by giving up a season-high tying 10 hits along with two runs.

"Our defense kind of picked him up a little bit the first two innings," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You look up, they have three doubles, five hits total, a walk and don't score a run in two innings."

Chad Jenkins (0-3) remained without a victory after 12 major league appearances. In his second start, the right-hander gave up four hits and three runs over 3 2/3 innings.

Rajai Davis went 4-for-4 for the Blue Jays, who failed to build on a 6-0 win in the opener of this four-game series. Colby Rasmus and Adam Lind homered in the defeat.

Pettitte, meanwhile, has been magnificent after a nearly three-month layoff and has yet to allow a run in 11 innings since returning. Against the Minnesota Twins on Monday the veteran left-hander scattered seven hits over six scoreless innings to improve to 5-3, while lowering his ERA to 2.71.

"There's nothing that fazes him," said Swisher. "He comes back (from retirement), breaks his foot on a crazy play, has been itching to get back in the (rotation) for a long time, and once he does, he delivers -- every single time. You can only just look at that and be like, 'Man, I want to be like that.'"

Pettitte, who is on track to start a potential one-game wild card matchup for the Yanks, beat the Jays in his first start back and limited them to four hits over five innings without giving up a run. He is 22-12 lifetime versus them with a 4.09 ERA in 43 games (42 starts).

It's been a forgettable year for Toronto lefty Ricky Romero, who won for the first time in 16 starts his last time out. Romero had been 0-13 in his previous 15 trips to the hill before beating Baltimore on Monday.

"It feels good; it wasn't pretty from my side, but I battled out of some jams," said Romero, who allowed four runs in five innings en route to his first win since June 22.

An All-Star last season, Romero is just 9-14 with a 5.76 ERA this season.

He lost to the Yankees three times in his drought and is a mere 3-7 against them with a 4.76 ERA in 14 starts.

New York has won 10 of 16 from the Jays this season.

The Sports Network

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