Blue Jays roll past Yankees in finale
Eight-run fifth inning proves to be decisive frame
TORONTO -- Randy Ruiz was not the only Toronto Blue Jay to consider himself fortunate after the Jays' 14-8 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday.
Ruiz's face was only slightly swollen after he was hit in the left cheek by a pitch from Josh Towers, and he proclaimed himself fit to play on Monday.
Brian Tallet (6-9), who allowed eight hits and five runs over five innings, also considered himself fortunate for escaping more serious injury when hit by a batted ball in the third.
Tallet got the win, as the Blue Jays gained a split in the four-game series with the American League East leaders before a crowd of 30,873 at Rogers Centre.
Tallet was struck by a ball hit by Mark Teixeira in New York's three-run third inning but was able to resume pitching after some warmups.
Tallet said that the ball hit him on one side of the lower part of his left leg. He feels that if it had hit him on the shin, a fracture could have resulted.
"If I finish and that ball hits me on the shin, it's shattered, and I'm done for probably a year," Tallet said.
After giving up a two-run homer in the fifth to Nick Swisher, his 24th of the season, that gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead, Tallet watched as his teammates piled up eight runs in the bottom of the frame. The victory ended his personal five-game losing string and was his first win since June 23.
"It was awesome, let's be honest," Tallet said. "Sitting in a situation where I knew I was out of the game, just giving up a 4-3 lead, the guys had battled to get the lead again for me. To give it up was tough. I wouldn't have changed anything I did today. I felt like I threw the ball really well. You know, in that third inning, they got those three runs, but they didn't even hit a ball hard.
"The only ball that was hit hard was the one that went off my leg. To give up three runs that way was really, really tough."
But the Blue Jays responded after the Yankees tied the game and then took the lead.
"When you get a chance to bury a team like the New York Yankees, you can't miss on it, and today we didn't miss," Tallet said. "I was able to hold them long enough so that I was able to snake a win, whatever you want to call it.
"It's been a long time since I've had a win, so I'll take it every single one I get a chance to. I felt good and made some adjustments to what I was doing on the mound and had some positive results."
It was one of those games in which it was hard to figure out who the first-place team was. The Yankees were that bad, committing four errors and numerous other mistakes.
"It happens sometimes to the best of teams," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "Teams that win, it doesn't happen to them too often. The teams that lose, it happens a little bit more often. It finally went our way today."
Yankees starter Sergio Mitre allowed 11 hits and 11 runs (nine earned) in 4 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays sent 14 hitters to the plate in the fifth, with Mark Melancon and Towers pitching in relief after Mitre was taken out of the game.
There were three bases-loaded walks, in addition to Ruiz's plunking with the bases loaded. Third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. looked home as a run scored before going to first on Joe Inglett's grounder, and the result was a run-scoring infield hit. There were four other singles, and Edwin Encarnacion reached first after a wild pitch on a swinging third strike.
Hairston's throwing error on Marco Scutaro's leadoff grounder to third started the Blue Jays' three-run first inning. Aaron Hill doubled to score Scutaro and scored on Rod Barajas's one-out single. Vernon Wells singled Barajas to second, and he scored on Encarnacion's single.
The Yankees tied it with three in the third. Hideki Matsui's two-out bloop single scored two, and Swisher's bloop double to left scored the other. Derek Jeter started the rally with a one-out single between third and short, and Johnny Damon followed with an infield hit in front of the plate.
"It was so tough, because I was still making my pitches," Tallet said.
The Blue Jays regained the lead in the bottom of the third. Swisher lost Wells' fly to right in the sun, and it fell for a double. Teixeira was charged with an error on Encarnacion's grounder that found its way to right to score Wells.
Swisher's two-run homer came with one out in the fifth. Melky Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the seventh against Brian Wolfe. It was his 12th of the season.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.