TORONTO (AP) - With his sinker showing plenty of bite, Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Kyle Drabek earned some high praise Wednesday night.
Drabek snapped a four-start losing streak with seven sharp innings and Toronto hit four home runs in an 8-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Coming in winless since April 15, Drabek allowed one run and three hits, walked four and struck out five. Thirteen of his 21 outs came on the ground.
``That sinker was really working,' New York first baseman Mark Teixeira raved. ``You don't want to say Halladay because Halladay is a special pitcher but I felt like Halladay was out there tonight because (Drabek) just wasn't getting the ball up in the zone at all.'
Drabek said he benefited from aiming slightly higher when delivering his sinker, an adjustment he worked on between starts.
``Really, it was just trying to throw it higher and allow it to sink back down,' he said. ``My last two starts I've been trying to throw it more on the black and not as high, and that's when it tends to bounce.'
The only thing bouncing Wednesday, however, were the balls Yankee batters were driving into the turf.
``He got us to beat the ball into the ground tonight,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``It seemed like we weren't quite able to lay off some of the sinkers that were a little bit below the zone and he took advantage of that.'
Luis Perez worked the eighth and Francisco Cordero finished in the ninth for Toronto.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer and J.P. Arencibia added a two-run drive for the Blue Jays, who also got solo shots from Jose Bautista and Kelly Johnson.
Arencibia had three hits and scored twice, helping Toronto snap a three-game losing streak and giving the Blue Jays their seventh win in their past 11 home games against the Yankees.
Three of the four Toronto homers came off Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who matched a career-high by allowing seven runs.
``At times (Kuroda) threw the ball really well but when he got a ball up, they didn't miss it,' Girardi said.
New York has scored 11 total runs in eight May defeats and, after a 1-for-8 showing Wednesday, is just 3 for 53 with runners in scoring position in those games. Catcher Russell Martin acknowledged some Yankees hitters were trying to do too much at the plate.
``We got in a hole and then it seemed like every hitter was trying to hit a three-run homer with nobody on,' Martin said. ``That's not how you win ballgames.'
Kuroda (3-5) allowed eight hits and a season-high three homers in five-plus innings. He walked two and struck out six.
Arencibia got the Blue Jays started with a two-out drive to left in the second inning, his fourth. Encarnacion made it 5-0 with a two-out shot to center in the third, his 13th of the season and second in as many days.
Arencibia doubled and scored on a two-out single by Johnson in the fourth and Bautista drilled a leadoff shot into the second deck in left in the sixth, his ninth.
New York broke up Drabek's shutout bid in the sixth when Teixeira singled home Robinson Cano, who had doubled. Teixeira's hit was the 1,500th of his career, while Cano's double was his 300th.
Johnson restored Toronto's seven-run lead with a milestone hit in the seventh, smacking a leadoff drive to right off Clay Rapada, his 100th career home run and eighth this season.
The Yankees dropped to 1-13 when scoring three runs or fewer, and 0-8 when failing to hit a home run. New York is the only team in the majors this season to not win a game in which they did not homer.
NOTES: New York SS Derek Jeter got the day off and was replaced by Jayson Nix, with Curtis Granderson moving up to the leadoff spot. It was Jeter's first day off this season. ... Yankees RHP Ivan Nova (right ankle) did not throw his scheduled bullpen session Wednesday but is expected to throw a side session Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi said he still expects Nova to make his next scheduled start, Saturday against Cincinnati. ... Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie was suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for Tuesday night's altercation with umpire Bill Miller. Lawrie is appealing and can play until there is a hearing, which could be held next week via video conference. ... The Blue Jays were unsuccessful in detaining the fan who hit Miller on the shoulder with a cup of beer as the umpires walked off the field Tuesday. Umpires and stadium security pointed at the fan, but he managed to evade security as he exited the building. ... OF Vladimir Guerrero, who signed a minor league contract with Toronto last week, has started taking batting practice at extended spring training in Florida and could see his first game action next week.
The Associated Press News Service
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