Blue Jays clinch 2nd straight losing season

Associated Press Published: September 20, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Eight walks by the pitchers. Fifteen strikeouts by the batters, including four in one inning.

Another dismal night for the Toronto Blue Jays, who ensured their second straight losing season with a 10-7 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday.

"It's just one of those days that's pretty disappointing," Aaron Laffey said.

Ichiro Suzuki homered to start New York's comeback, then hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning capped by Nick Swisher's grand slam. The Yankees completed a three-game sweep and opened a one-game AL East lead over idle Baltimore.

Toronto lost for the seventh time in nine games and dropped to 66-82, its third sub-.500 record in four years. Laffey (3-6) gave up five runs — four earned — five walks and two hits in three-plus innings, dropping to 0-4 with a 5.45 ERA in his last eight appearances.

"It's been a problem over the last couple of outings," Laffey said. "I'm throwing the ball well the first couple of innings and then losing that command and falling behind in counts and walking guys. Five walks is just not going to get it done."

Toronto built a 2-0 lead when Kelly Johnson hit an RBI double in the second and Phil Hughes (16-12) hit Moises Sierra in the left ribs with a bases-loaded pitch in the third. Hughes got out of the inning by striking out Johnson.

Suzuki, 9 for 12 in the series, hit a solo home run in the third. New York's big fourth started when Russell Martin walked and took second on a delayed steal.

"No one called out anything," catcher J.P. Arencibia said, adding that batter Curtis Granderson blocked his view. "I couldn't see first base. And you rely on trying to hear a steal call. When I realized it, it was too late."

Granderson reached when Johnson fumbled his grounder to second for an error,and Casey McGehee loaded the bases with a walk. Suzuki hooked a based-loaded double to right on an 0-2 pitch, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead and extending Suzuki's spurt to nine hits in 10 at-bats.

Reliever Brad Lincoln reloaded the bases with a walk to Jayson Nix. Derek Jeter followed with an RBI single for a 14-game hitting streak, and Swisher sent a 96 mph fastball into the right-field seats for his seventh career slam and third this season.

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