Yankees Blast the Blue Jays, Inching Closer to Crown

TORONTO — James Paxton pitched five innings to win his ninth straight start, Brett Gardner homered twice and drove in five runs and the New York Yankees hit five homers in a 13-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit also homered for the Yankees, going back-to-back off right-hander Brock Stewart in the fifth, as the American League East leaders won for the 14th time in 19 games. The win pushed the Yankees 9.5 games ahead of the Rays and dropped their magic number to 4. The Rays were set to play the Angles Saturday night.

Torres connected one inning after slipping while trying to make a throw to first and appearing to hurt his right leg or knee. Torres was checked on the field but stayed in to hit his 37th homer before being replaced by Tyler Wade in the sixth.

D.J. LeMahieu had four hits for New York, giving him a league-leading 58th multi-hit game of the season. The Yankees had 19 hits, matching their season high for a nine-inning game.

New York failed to homer Friday, snapping a nine-game streak. The Yankees have had 20 homers over their past seven games, and have hit multiple home runs in 14 of their past 19. They have hit 285 home runs this season, a big league record for homers by any team in a year. Minnesota is second with 280.

Mike Ford hit the fifth and final home run Saturday, a two-run blast off Justin Shafer in New York’s four-run ninth.

Paxton (14-6) allowed one run on three hits, becoming the first Yankees pitcher since Mike Mussina to win nine consecutive starts. The left-hander’s 14 wins are also a career best.

Mussina won his final two starts of the 2002 season, then seven straight to begin 2003. The last Yankees pitcher to win nine straight starts in the same season was Ron Guidry, who won 11 in a row in 1979.

Gardner homered off right-hander Jacob Waguespack to begin the fourth, then added a three-run blast off Stewart in the fifth. Gardner has 25 homers, extending his career high. It was the ninth multi-homer game of Gardner’s career and his second this season. He also hit two at Detroit Tuesday.

Gardner has 20 career home runs against Toronto, more than any other opponent.

The veteran center fielder also made a great play in the outfield, leaping into the scoreboard to catch a drive by Toronto’s Danny Jansen in the fifth.

Waguespack (4-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He is 0-4 with an 8.40 E.R.A. in his past four starts.

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