Rodriguez was the Yankees' designated hitter after committing
five errors in five games -- and this time his woes were at the
plate. He went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, including one with the
bases loaded in the sixth.
Rodriguez struck out four times in a game for the first time
since June 22, 1995, against the Chicago White Sox.
"It was just one of those days. It makes your head spin a
little bit, but you put it behind you," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez was forced to play the field in the ninth and caught a
popup for the final out of the game.
He was at the ballpark at 11 a.m. Saturday, an hour before the
team bus even left the hotel. He worked on his throwing. Eleven of
his AL-leading 18 errors have been on throws.
"I thought for me the biggest thing of the day was my work,"
Rodriguez said. "That's what I take out of the day. I'm glad we
did it. I've been feeling great at the plate so I'm not really
concerned about what I'm doing in the box. I know I'm going to
Rodriguez entered the game 12-for-36 (.333) with five home runs
and eight RBI in his career against starter Ted Lilly, but he
struck out three times against him.
"He's just struggling right now," manager Joe Torre said.
"He's striking out. He's swinging and missing at some pitches that
Torre said the Yankees were flat in Friday's loss, so he called
a team meeting before the game. Rodriguez said it was the longest
meeting they've had in some time.
Jason Giambi gave Torre credit for helping end the skid.
"That's the amazing thing about Joe. He doesn't really call for
too many meetings. He just wanted to make sure that we weren't
getting sloppy," Giambi said. "He said, 'We have a tough four
games in Toronto. Don't let them slip away.' Before you know it we
lose four here and we're going on the road."
Chien-Ming Wang (11-4) won his third straight start, allowing
four runs and 10 hits in six innings. He struck out one and walked
Mariano Rivera made his 700th career appearance, pitching the
ninth for his 23rd save in 24 chances. Rivera suffered the loss to Toronto on Thursday.
The second-place Yankees moved three games ahead of the
third-place Blue Jays in the AL East.
"It was a big win for us," Jeter said. "You want to control to
your losing streaks."
Newly acquired reliever Jeremy Accardo arrived before the game
but didn't pitch.
"He'll fit in nicely, we got him for a reason," Toronto
manager John Gibbons said. "He's going to be a big part of this."
After Lilly nearly hit Jorge Posada with a pitch in the second,
Posada yelled at Lilly before hitting a triple into the gap in
"If I was going to hit him, I would try to do it with a
four-seam fastball instead of a cutter," Lilly said.
Williams followed with his homer to give New York a 2-0 lead.
Aaron Hill hit an RBI single in the bottom half and Hinske tied
it at two in the fourth with his homer.
Lyle Overbay's two-run double gave Toronto a 4-2 lead in the
Lilly committed a run-scoring balk in the fifth, allowing Damon
New York RHP Jaret Wright pinch-ran after Giambi walked in
the ninth. ... Damon stole his 300th base in the sixth inning. ...
Blue Jays general manager J.P. Riccardi said RF Alex Rios is
expected to return to the team Aug. 1 at New York. Rios hasn't
played in a month because of an infection in his left leg. Riccardi
said he'll probably go on a rehab stint in the minors for four or
six games starting Tuesday.