Blue Jays fall just short against Yanks
Ruiz goes deep after earlier homer gets overturned
TORONTO -- Brett Cecil is scheduled to make one more start in his rookie season, and he would like to make a little better showing than he did in Blue Jays' 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon.
The left-hander allowed three runs and seven hits, including home runs by Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, over 4 1/3 innings and 99 pitches. Randy Ruiz homered once for Toronto and had another homer overturned by an umpire's video review that showed the ball to be clearly foul.
As for getting one more chance, Cecil said he is ready.
"I look forward to any start that I get," Cecil said. "It's a chance to go out there and be good."
That final start is scheduled for Friday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, after which the organization plans to shut Cecil down, feeling he has pitched enough innings. He is at 136 1/3 innings this season between Toronto and Triple-A Las Vegas in his second full professional season. Another Toronto rookie left-hander, Marc Rzepczynski, already has finished his season for the same reason.
The victory before a crowd of 31,295 at Rogers Centre gave the Yankees two wins in the four-game series that ends on Sunday. The Yankees out-hit the Blue Jays, 14-4, but needed a run in the ninth inning to give themselves a cushion.
Andy Pettitte (13-6) allowed four runs, four hits and five walks in six innings, but it was good enough for the win. Phil Hughes picked up his third save. Pettitte is undefeated over his past eight starts and is 20-12 lifetime against the Blue Jays and 15-5 at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston would like to see Cecil throw more strikes.
"[Cecil] was struggling the whole time," Gaston said. "You can't pitch like that. You can't throw that many pitches. I think these kids are going to have to learn to throw strikes and trust themselves. When [Cecil] keeps the ball down, the ball sinks for him pretty good. He's got a good changeup. He's up in the strike zone a lot -- that's what gets him in trouble. I think he's getting his body out in front and his arm is dragging behind."
Cecil admits that consistency in his delivery will be something that requires offseason work.
"I've just got to figure out a way to stay in the groove that I'm in," Cecil said. "I seem to have a couple of 1-2-3 innings, really good innings, and some not-so-good innings.
"It's all just a matter of getting my mechanics the same way for every pitch. I've really got to repeat my delivery and make every pitch the same way. The more I can repeat and make my delivery look the same every time, the better I'm going to be. It's definitely a problem. It's not a huge issue. I mean, I'm not working on it right now, but it's definitely going to be a winter project."
The Yankees scored in the second after Jorge Posada led off with a walk. Cano singled him to second, and he took third when Jerry Hairston Jr.'s grounder forced Cano at third. Melky Cabrera singled to make the score 1-0.
After Cano hit his 23rd homer of the season on the first pitch of the fourth, Ruiz, with two out in the bottom of the fourth, hit his sixth homer since being called up from Triple-A, and there was no doubt that this one was fair. It went out in left-center.
Pettitte walked the next two batters before John McDonald, starting in left field for the first time in his career, blooped a single to right field that tied the game. Jose Bautista also tried to score on the play, but second baseman Cano, who had retrieved the ball in right, threw him out.
The Yankees regained the lead when Teixeira led off the fifth with his 33rd homer of the season on a 1-0 pitch. Two-out RBI singles by Alex Rodriguez and Posada against Casey Janssen in the sixth put New York ahead, 5-2.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the bottom of the sixth. Edwin Encarnacion walked with one out and scored on Bautista's triple to centre. Bautista continued home on shortstop Derek Jeter's errant throw to third.
The Blue Jays turned a magnificent double play in the eighth on Posada. Shortstop Marco Scutaro made a diving grab and was able to flip the ball to second baseman Aaron Hill, whose throw to first completed it. Scutaro did well to get the force at second, let alone start a double play.
"I thought that was going to save the game for us," Gaston said. "Great double play."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.