Series: Game 1 of 3

Toronto leads 1-0 (as of 9/20)

Game 1: Monday, September 20
NY Yankees3
Game 2: Tuesday, September 21
NY Yankees5
Game 3: Wednesday, September 22
NY Yankees4

Blue Jays 6

(63-87, 25-47 away)

Yankees 3

(94-56, 52-23 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 20, 2004

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 101010120 6 13 2
    NYY 000001020 3 6 0

    W: G. Chacin (1-0)

    L: J. Vazquez (14-10)

    S: M. Batista (2)

    Chacin was 19-2 in the minors

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Gustavo Chacin became the first lefty starter to win his major league debut against the Yankees in the Joe Torre era, pitching the Toronto Blue Jays past New York 6-3 Monday night.

    With a shaved head, a 19-2 record in the minors and fresh off a playoff win at Double-A, Chacin held the AL East leaders to a mere four hits before leaving in the eighth inning.

    The loss to last-place Toronto was just the Yankees' fourth defeat in 15 games. They were coming off an emotional two days in which they battered Boston, outscoring the Red Sox 25-5.

    New York remained 4½ games ahead of Boston, which lost 9-6 to Baltimore.

    A crowd of only 10,732 saw a game rescheduled less than two weeks ago. This three-game series was supposed to open Tuesday night, but was pushed up to accommodate a makeup against Tampa Bay caused by Hurricane Frances.

    Not since Boston's Vaughn Eshelman on May 2, 1995, had an opposing lefty started and won his major league debut at Yankee Stadium, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    Torre, who took over as the Yankees' manager in 1996 when they began their championship run, said there was a "certain mystery" in facing a pitcher his team had never seen.

    Chacin (1-0) proved that, leaving in the eighth with no outs, the bases loaded on a walk, single and hit batter, and Toronto ahead 6-1.

    Jason Dickson of the California Angels was the last visiting starter to win his debut in the Bronx, on Aug. 21, 1996. Overall, starters facing the Yankees in their first game during Torre's tenure were 3-7 with a 4.66 ERA in 11 tries before Chacin.

    Sluggers Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi sat out, but Chacin still faced a starting lineup that included eight All-Stars who had combined for 37 All-Star appearances. Chacin began his career with three straight balls to Derek Jeter, came back to get him on a grounder and stayed out of trouble with three double plays.

    Chacin struck out two and walked three, rarely throwing over 90 mph but doing a nice job of hiding the ball in his delivery. He led 3-0 before the Yankees scored in the sixth on a walk to Kenny Lofton, a single by Jeter and Alex Rodriguez's double-play grounder.

    The 23-year-old from Venezuela led all minor leaguers with 18 wins in the regular season, with two coming at Triple-A Syracuse and the rest at Double-A. He added another victory for New Hampshire in the playoffs -- his 15th straight win -- and was scheduled to start for the Fisher Cats on Sunday before they clinched the Eastern League title.

    So instead of facing the Altoona Curve this weekend, Chacin came to New York to face a different kind of learning curve -- and left with a smile, a pat from manager John Gibbons and a win.

    After Chacin exited, Rodriguez hit a two-run single off Miguel Batista that made it 6-3. The Yankees loaded the bases, but Hideki Matsui grounded into an inning-ending double play, and Batista finished for his second save.

    The Yankees loaded the bases again in the ninth, but Jeter grounded out to end it.

    Russ Adams led off the game with a home run against Javier Vazquez (14-10), and later added a two-run single. Adams was among about a dozen Toronto players who wore colorful dresses -- a rookie hazing -- on the charter flight to New York.

    Vernon Wells doubled twice and scored both times. Alex Rios singled home a run and had an RBI grounder, and Eric Hinske hit an RBI single.

    Game notes

    Vazquez is 1-4 in his last seven starts. ... Chacin was the 24th pitcher used by Toronto this season, tying the team record set in 2002.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press