Series: Game 2 of 3

NY Yankees leads 2-0 (as of 8/2)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 1
NY Yankees5
Game 2: Wednesday, August 2
NY Yankees7
Game 3: Thursday, August 3
NY Yankees8

Blue Jays 2

(57-50, 22-29 away)

Yankees 7

(63-41, 35-19 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 2, 2006

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 000000002 2 6 0
    NYY 00100600 - 7 14 0

    W: C. Wang (13-4)

    L: T. Lilly (9-10)

    Wang dazzles Jays; Yankees keep pace with Red Sox

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Whether it's Toronto's big bats or punchless Tampa Bay, Chien-Ming Wang is overpowering everybody lately.

    That's a momentous development for the surging New York Yankees, who need as much consistent pitching as they can get.

    Wang tossed eight more shutout innings to win his fifth straight start, and Alex Rodriguez got two key hits in a six-run sixth that broke open New York's 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

    "That sinkerball, it's a lot like a knuckleball pitcher. You can tell them what's coming and there's not a lot anybody can do about it," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "I feel so good when we write his name in the lineup."

    Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada homered for the AL East-leading Yankees, who won for the seventh time in eight games and improved to 10-1-1 in their last 12 series.

    Bobby Abreu singled and doubled for his first two hits with New York, and fellow newcomer Craig Wilson added a pair of singles in his Yankees debut.

    Coming off a two-hitter against the Devil Rays last Friday for his first career shutout, Wang (13-4) buzzed through the best-hitting team in the major leagues and ran his scoreless streak to 18 innings.

    "Before, sometimes my arm dropped down. Now, I stay on top," Wang said, adding that he's having "a lot of fun."

    Pitching on a sweltering 97-degree night before a sellout crowd of 54,414, he allowed four hits and got 16 outs on grounders to beat the Blue Jays for the second time in 12 days. The right-hander walked three, all in the second inning, and struck out three.

    "He's got that power sinker. He's a groundball machine," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

    Wang has a 1.64 ERA in his past five starts. With that string of stingy performances, he has surpassed an inconsistent Randy Johnson and become New York's No. 2 starter -- right behind Mike Mussina.

    "It's really tough to say who's been the best for us," Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon said. "He's been as good as Moose has all season long."

    Ron Villone gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to Troy Glaus, his 28th.

    The Blue Jays, who have lost four straight and eight of 11, entered leading the majors in batting average (.293) and slugging percentage (.480). But Wang shut them down.

    "The guy throws 95-plus with a sink like that, you've got to tip your cap to him," Toronto's Aaron Hill said.

    Jeter hit a solo homer in the third off ex-Yankee Ted Lilly (9-10).

    Rodriguez hustled his way to a leadoff double in the sixth, evading a tag at second base with a clever slide. Beaten badly by the throw, he pulled back his left arm and reached around to touch the base with his right -- drawing laughs from Jeter and other teammates on the bench.

    "I was pretty confident until I saw the ball beat me by 25 feet," Rodriguez said. "It feels like you came in without your homework and the teacher calls your name."

    Posada followed with his 13th homer, and Melky Cabrera's one-out double chased Lilly.

    Damon hit an RBI single off Dustin McGowan, and Jeter walked with the bases loaded to make it 5-0.

    After Abreu struck out against Scott Downs, Rodriguez hit a two-run single to left off the glove of diving shortstop John McDonald.

    Lilly gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

    "Sometimes we want to win the game so bad it works against us," he said.

    Game notes

    The Yankees are 9-2 in their last 11 home games. ... New York is 23-9 against left-handed starters. ... The Yankees held a moment of silence before the game and a video tribute before the seventh for former captain Thurman Munson. The catcher was killed in a plane crash 27 years ago on this date. ... Lilly dropped to 2-7 against the Yankees. ... The Blue Jays are 3-9 in their past 12 games at Yankee Stadium. ... Jeter extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... RHP Cory Lidle, acquired from Philadelphia on Sunday with Abreu, is slated to start Thursday for his Yankees debut.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press