Jays give Yankees an encore beating

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow pitches during the first inning against the New York...

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, July 15, 2011. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 AM ET

TORONTO -- So, these are the mighty Yankees, eh?

Bunch of marshmallows.

The Blue Jays Friday laid an encore beating on the Yankees, following up Thursday's 16-7 shellacking with a 7-1 success that extends their winning streak to five.

The Bronx bunglers have been out-hit, out-hustled, out-manuevred, out-defenced and out-classed.

Brandon Morrow left with two outs in the seventh to a standing ovation from a singing, chanting crowd of 33,525 stifling N.Y. on four hits. Morrow has won four of his last six starts.

Meantime the absence of Jose Bautista, sidelined indefinitely with a sprained right ankle, didn't hurt the Jays, who pounded out 11 hits. It did hurt the Yankees, with Edwin Encarnacion filling in superbly at third base. He had a perfect night with the bat: His double in the fourth snapped a 1-1 tie.

Then there was Yunel Escobar, moving from his usual lead-off spot to No. 3, and going single, double, walk ... and by then Toronto had disposed of N.Y starter Freddie Garcia, who was nailed for six runs through five innings.

Aaron Hill went crazy on the basepaths and the Jays, who stole four bases, are back at .500.

Escobar set the tempo with his RBI single in the first inning. "It's good to see the number of runs we've put up in Jose's absence," said manager John Farrell, pointing to numerous two-out hits as a key to recent success. "We played a very clean game."

As opposed to the Yankees, who have tripped over everything except the 49th parallel in starting this road trip.

With Bautista sidelined, Farrell had juggled the lineup, moving Escobar from leadoff to the No. 3 slot and shifting Encarnacion from DH to third.

It paid off in the first with Escobar, who has become the club's toughest out (next, that is, to Bautista), giving Morrow a 1-0 edge. Escobar leads all American League shortstops in on-base percentage and after Eric Thames' double, he sent him home with a single -- the 20th consecutive game he has reached base.

"He's been one of our best hitters and played exceptional defence ... a couple of outstanding plays on the backhand and I think he relished hitting in the No. 3 hole," Farrell said.

While N.Y. is in another league when it comes to the standings, they have looked befuddled.

Toronto? Well, Encarnacion, villified for his defence, or lack thereof earlier in the season, made the defensive gem of the night, diving headlong towards the hole to spear Russell Martin's hard hopper. He rolled and threw to first to a standing ovation.

"That's one of the best plays that's ever been made behind me," Morrow said. In the bottom of the fourth, Encarnacion was in the middle of a rally that gave Morrow a 3-1 lead. Travis Snider, batting over .400 since his recall, doubled. Ditto Encarnacion, with a drive to centre. Jose Molina's two-out single made it 3-1 and Morrow was catching his rhythm. He painted the corner on called strikeouts to Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson.

Toronto got three more in the fifth, thanks to N.Y largesse (two walks). Then one play summed up NY's ineptitude as well as the Jays' opportunism. With Hill at second base, the Yankees walked Encarnacion to set up the force. Instead, Hill dashed for third on a double steal and arrived in a cloud of dust. Martin's throw went into left; Hill scooted home. It was N.Y.'s fifth error in two nights. 'Nuff said.

THE SORE POINT

Bautista is in a walking cast. He didn't take batting practice Friday and there is uncertainty over when he'll recover from a sprained ankle. That's the bad news.

The good news is Farrell believes he could return as soon as Tuesday. "He's one guy you've got to fight to get out of the lineup. He wants to be out there every day," Farrell said. Bautista was helped off the field after he twisted his right ankle sliding into third base Thursday.

He wasn't in the dressing room following the game and didn't talk to reporters Friday, either. But he was seen limping to the trainer's room.

"He's no worse today (Friday) than last night," Farrell said. "No additional stiffness or swelling. He's been in a walking boot. We'll continue to work on getting the swelling out. It's a day-to-day evaluation. To put a time frame on his return; we're not at that point. Optimistically we're thinking Sunday but realistically Tuesday is the best-case scenario. It's important for us to know he's symptom free."

Just in walking to the trainer's room, he seemed anything but symptom free.

MR. FIX-IT

Jason Frasor moved into the company of titans when he appeared in his 452nd game, tying the franchise record held by Duane Ward. "They're the elite. They won World Series and made all-star teams and Rolaids reliever man of year. I haven't accomplished any of those things. If I can get the record, I'll be proud," said Frasor, who didn't even keep a game souvenier when he fanned Eduardo Nunez to end the game.

But he will get "the ball and the lineup card" when he breaks the record. The biggest thing he takes away from the mark? "Being appreciated ... for eight years. Middle relievers usually bounce from team to team."

PASSING THOUGHT

Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada played their 1,660th game together Thursday moving them past Tony Lazzeri and Lou Gehrig for the most games played together in club history.


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