<
>

Yankees get tripped up, six-game winning streak snapped

TORONTO (AP) -- The New York Yankees lost their starting pitcher
in the third inning and a chance to make up ground in the
standings.

Jaret Wright left after being hit on the right elbow by a broken
bat, and the Toronto Blue Jays ended New York's six-game winning
streak with a 6-5 victory Sunday.

Wright isn't sure if he'll be able to make his next scheduled
start, which would be next weekend at home against Toronto.

"It's sore and tight. It's kind of throbbing," he said. "It
hit right on the bone on the back of the elbow."

Alex Rodriguez hit his AL-leading 44th home run and Derek Jeter
also connected for the Yankees, who fell 1½ games behind Cleveland
in the wild-card race but remained 1½ back of first-place Boston in
the AL East.

Jeter struck out looking against Miguel Batista with a runner on
second to end it, the eighth time this season he made the final out
of a game with the potential tying run on base.

Wright came out after being hit by Eric Hinske's broken bat, the
latest bit of bad luck for a pitcher who has had more than his
share throughout his roller-coaster career.

"It's frustrating. I mean, poor guy," Rodriguez said. "He's
getting himself in great shape again, throwing the ball really
well, and the bat hits him in the elbow. You feel bad for him."

First baseman Jason Giambi also departed in the fourth because
of back spasms. Giambi plans to play Monday night against
Baltimore.

Hinske's bat broke as he grounded out to first. Wright tried to
brace himself but stepped right in the path of the barrel, which
bruised and cut his right elbow. He fell down holding his arm.

Wright tested his elbow by throwing some warmup pitches, but was
replaced by Al Leiter. X-rays were negative.

New York manager Joe Torre didn't like what he saw when Wright
threw the warmup pitches.

"Everything was up," Torre said. "I know he wanted to stay in
the game but I think it was the best thing to do."

The early exit forced the Yankees to use three relievers.

Wright (5-3) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and five hits in
2 1-3 innings. The right-hander, signed to a $21 million,
three-year deal last offseason, went 2-2 with a 9.15 ERA in three
April starts before missing nearly four months with a shoulder
injury.

After he came back, he was knocked out of a game in Seattle on
Sept. 1 when he was hit in the collarbone by Raul Ibanez's line
drive. Wright was able to make his next start, however.

"If you got something that is bruised or tight it affects you a
lot more than being hit in the neck," he said.

Vernon Wells had three hits and had two RBI for the Blue Jays,
who ended a three-game skid.

Batista worked the ninth for his 28th save in 35 chances. He
gave up an RBI double to Robinson Cano with two outs before
freezing Jeter, leaving the Yankees' captain 2-for-17 lifetime
against the right-hander.

New York went 5-1 on its road trip.

"We've been playing good for a while," Jeter said.
"Hopefully, we can continue to do it when we get home."

Former Yankees starter Ted Lilly (9-10) won for the first time
since July 19. The 29-year-old left-hander, sidelined in August
because of a shoulder injury, allowed three runs -- two earned -- and
five hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

"I felt good," Lilly said. "I was able to keep them at bay
just enough."

Hinske hit an RBI single in the first, and the Blue Jays scored
three runs in the second on Russ Adams' RBI grounder and Wells'
two-run single.

Rodriguez hit his two-run homer off the left-field foul screen
in the third.

Hinske added an RBI grounder in the fifth, giving Toronto a 5-2
lead.

Jorge Posada chased Lilly with an RBI single in the seventh.
Jeter led off the eighth with a homer against Justin Speier to cut
the lead to 5-4

Corey Koskie added a key insurance run for Toronto with an RBI
single off Alan Embree in the eighth.

"If you want to beat those guys you have to bury them,"
Toronto's Gregg Zaun said. "They have one big-name guy after
another and they always seem to come up with big hits."

Game notes
Torre was having dinner on Saturday when Billy Crystal
called him to tell him Boston and Cleveland won. ... The Yankees
haven't decided who will be removed from the rotation when Mike
Mussina returns from the disabled list Thursday, Friday or
Saturday. "We're too involved in a pennant race to concern
ourselves with uncertainty. The uncertainty fits in with the energy
we need to play these final two weeks," Torre said. ... Toronto 3B
Shea Hillenbrand walked in the first inning, his first since Aug.
7. ... Andy Phillips replaced Giambi. ... Leiter allowed one run
and three hits in 3 2-3 innings. ... The Yankees had won five
straight one-run games.