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Yanks rally past Jays; Rivera ties saves record

Curtis Granderson's two-run homer in the 6 win game series at Rogers Centre.

Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankee lineup after a six-game absence and helped New York roar back from a 6-1 deficit with a three-run homer in the sixth inning. He finished 2-for-4 and Granderson was 3-for-3 with two walks two RBI and scored three times, as New York halted a two-game skid.

The Yankees hold a 4 1/2-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. Boston lost to Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Mike McCoy knocked in three runs for the Blue Jays, who won Friday's opener in walkoff fashion with a 5-4 triumph. Toronto lost for just the second time in its last six games.

Granderson started the Yankee comeback in the sixth with a double and scored when Toronto's Colby Rasmus bobbled Mark Teixeira's base hit to center field. After Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch, Rodriguez drilled a Henderson Alvarez offering over the left-field wall for his 16th homer to make it a 6-5 game.

Rodriguez hadn't played since September 9 because of a thumb injury that has bothered him since August 21, the day he returned from the disabled list after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

New York then went in front in the seventh against Carlos Villanueva (6-4). Derek Jeter led off with an infield hit before Granderson battled through a 12-pitch at-bat and belted his 40th homer of the season over the wall in center field.

The rally made a winner of Aaron Laffey (3-2), who worked a hitless bottom of the sixth. Hector Noesi threw the seventh and Rafael Soriano struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth before Rivera took over in the ninth.

Rivera caught Colby Rasmus looking at a third strike, then got Brett Lawrie on a grounder to first before Eric Thames lined out to center for the third out, giving Rivera his 42nd save of the year. It also tied him with Trevor Hoffman for the most all-time.

"It's pretty much what Mo's done his whole career," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "What can you say about Mo. We've seen a lot of special things."

The Yankee bullpen was nearly perfect in relief of starter Bartolo Colon, who surrendered six runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts over four innings. Scott Proctor allowed a walk in the fifth inning for Toronto's lone baserunner against Yankee relievers.

"The bullpen did a good job," Girardi added. "It's a great win for us."

Alvarez went the first six innings for Toronto and allowed five runs on nine hits.

Toronto moved in front with four runs in the bottom of the second. Adam Lind and David Cooper began the inning with line-drive singles to put runners on the corners and Rasmus ended an 0-for-19 drought with an RBI double to the gap in right-center field. Lawrie followed with a run-scoring grounder and Jose Molina's ground-rule double to left scored another run before McCoy's safety squeeze chased home the last run of the inning.

The Yankees managed a single in each of the first two innings, but Alvarez quickly escaped both times with double-play grounders. New York then stranded a runner in the third before failing to capitalize on a big opportunity in the fourth.

After Granderson led off the fourth with a walk and raced to third on a double by Teixeira, Cano lofted a fly ball to left field. Converted pitcher Adam Loewen dropped the ball on the warning track, allowing Granderson to score and leaving runners at second and third. The runners held on a grounder to third by Rodriguez and Nick Swisher followed with a drive to the gap in right-center field. Rasmus made a lunging catch for the second out and Cano, thinking the ball had dropped, raced past a tagging Teixeira at third for the final out.

"I think Robbie thought the ball was going drop for sure," Girardi noted about the baserunning gaffe. "Still, you have to make sure. It was frustrating at the time, but everything worked out."

Toronto tacked on a pair of two-out runs for a 6-1 edge in the bottom half. Rasmus and Lawrie started the inning with singles before Colon retired the next two batters, but McCoy doubled over the head of Swisher in right field to chase home both runners.

Game Notes

Colon entered the contest 6-1 with a 2.29 earned run average in nine daytime starts this season. He remained winless in his last eight starts overall and hasn't won since July 30 against Baltimore...Rodriguez has 629 career homers, one shy of Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on the all-time list...Soriano has fanned each of the six hitters he has faced in this series, also striking out three in Friday's game...Rasmus nearly matched his longest career hitless drought of 0-for-20, set earlier this year with St. Louis...The Yankees improved to an MLB-best 40-11 in day games.