Ichiro collects 4,000th professional hit as Yankees beat slumping Blue Jays
Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, Ichiro Suzuki got his 4,000th hit between the major leagues and Japan, and the Yankees handed the Toronto Blue Jays their 12th straight loss in New York, 4-2 on Wednesday night.
David Huff (1-0) pitched one-hit ball in five innings of relief to shut down the Blue Jays before New York finally got to Toronto’s R.A. Dickey.
The 39-year-old Suzuki hit a liner off Dickey (9-12) that bounced just beyond diving third baseman Brett Lawrie for the milestone hit in the first inning. Suzuki broke a tie with Lou Gehrig when he got his 2,722nd major league hit in his 13th season. The speedy outfielder amassed 1,278 hits in nine seasons with Orix of Japan’s Pacific League.
Suzuki’s teammates streamed out of the dugout and surrounded him at first base, Curtis Granderson giving him the first hug. A grinning Suzuki then faced the cheering fans and bowed.
When he went to his position in right field for the second inning, Suzuki tipped his cap to fans who greeted him with a standing ovation.
Ken Griffey Jr., a former teammate with the Seattle Mariners, congratulated Suzuki with a message shown on the video board at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees infielder Jayson Nix broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the second inning.
Adam Warren started for New York to give 41-year-old Andy Pettitte one more day after the Yankees stayed on rotation for their doubleheader Tuesday. He gave up two runs in three-plus innings, including Josh Thole’s tying homer in the fourth. It was Thole’s first homer with the Blue Jays.
Huff relieved and didn’t allow a hit until Lawrie led off the eighth with an infield single. Huff walked four, one intentionally, but never was in real trouble.
Toronto left at least one runner on base in each of the first eight innings and was 2 for 15 with runners on base.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth and earned his 37th save after working both games of New York’s doubleheader sweep Tuesday. He gave up a one-out double to Rajai Davis, but picked him off second, and then struck out Edwin Encarnacion looking to end the game.
The Yankees have won 10 of 13.
Dickey overcame a rough start, giving up four hits in the first three innings and putting a runner in scoring position with a wild pitch before settling in with his knuckleball in ideal hot conditions.
He struck out nine and gave up six hits. But after retiring 14 of 15, he allowed a two-out single to Robinson Cano. Soriano then snapped a 0-for-17 skid with a two-run shot to left for the 4-2 lead.
Thole, who caught Dickey throughout much of his NL Cy Young Award season with the New York Mets last year, had two passed balls in the first inning, but the Yankees failed to score.
In the second, Eduardo Nunez singled and stole second. Dickey’s wild pitch sent Nunez to third, and Austin Romine’s sacrifice fly tied it at 1.
Munenori Kawasaki had given Toronto the early lead with an RBI single in the top half. The Blue Jays have led in each of the three games in this series and lost all three. They have dropped eight in a row against New York.
Granderson had a two-out RBI single in the third.
NOTES: Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was given the night off. ... Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes was ejected in the second inning after he tossed his helmet in the direction of home plate umpire Ted Barrett. Reyes had a brief heated discussion with Barrett following a called third strike. ... The Blue Jays recalled OF Moises Sierra from Triple-A Buffalo to take Jose Bautista’s spot on the roster. Bautista was placed on the DL with a bone bruise in his left hip after Tuesday’s doubleheader. ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter (strained right calf) ran the bases for the second consecutive day in a simulated game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. He also played defense for the first time during the simulated game and did agility drills afterward. He will start a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Scranton. He is scheduled to play five innings.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.