TORONTO – Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer, then added a tiebreaking solo drive in the eighth inning for his 40th of the season, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Monday night.
It was the sixth multihomer game of the season for Bautista, who leads the majors in home runs. He's the first Toronto player to reach the 40-homer plateau since Carlos Delgado hit 42 in 2003.
Toronto has a major league-leading 190 home runs this season, including 105 at home. Twenty-five of Bautista's homers have come at home.
Bautista connected off right-hander David Robertson (2-4) in the eighth, one at-bat after taking exception to a head-high pitch from Yankees starter Ivan Nova, who was making his first career start.
Both benches and bullpens emptied when Nova fired one over the head of catcher Francisco Cervelli to begin the sixth. Bautista exchanged words with Nova and took several steps toward the mound while plate umpire Meals warned both dugouts. Yankees manager Joe Girardi raced out to get between the two, but there was no physical contact.
New York opened the scoring in the first when Nick Swisher walked and scored on a two-out double by Robinson Cano.
Toronto loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half against Nova. The Blue Jays came up empty when Fred Lewis was thrown out at the plate by Brett Gardner on Vernon Wells' fly ball, and Adam Lind struck out swinging. Gardner's outfield assist was his 10th.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the third. Escobar reached on an infield single when Eduardo Nunez's throw from shortstop pulled Mark Teixeira off the bag. Bautista followed with a homer into the second deck in left.
The Yankees tied it in the sixth when Cano drew a two-out walk and scored on Jorge Posada's double to right-center.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out 12.
Shawn Camp pitched the seventh before Downs took over in the eighth.
Escobar and Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston were ejected in the top of the sixth. Escobar was tossed by Meals shortly after flying out to left to end the fifth.
Gaston came out of the dugout and argued with both Meals and crew chief Dale Scott, the third base umpire, before he was ejected for the second time this season.
Nova allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings, walked one and struck out three.
NOTES: Yankees SS Derek Jeter was held out of the starting lineup after playing 17 days in a row but pinch hit in the ninth, popping up for the final out. ... Blue Jays 3B Edwin Encarnacion returned to the lineup after missing the past three games with a sore left wrist. ... Girardi shot down speculation that he would pursue the Cubs managerial job, made vacant by Lou Piniella's early retirement Sunday. "I'm very happy here," Girardi said. "I have a great working relationship here with everyone involved and I'm very happy here."