Published August 11, 2012
| Associated Press
TORONTO – Even though the results are getting better, Ricky Romero still hasn't found a way to win since June.
Ichiro Suzuki matched a career high with five RBIs and Freddy Garcia won in Toronto for the first time in more than a decade, leading the New York Yankees to a 10-4 victory Friday night over Romero and the injury-riddled Blue Jays.
Romero (8-9) lost for the eighth time in nine starts as Toronto dropped its fourth straight and was beaten for the 10th time in 12 games.
"It's not easy what we're going through right now," he said.
The left-hander gave up three runs, two earned, and four hits in seven innings but remained winless since June 22 at Miami. He is 0-8 with a 7.26 ERA in nine starts since.
Still, there were encouraging signs for Toronto's supposed ace. Romero worked seven innings for the second straight start after failing to do so in any of his previous seven outings.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Romero has shown greater "conviction" with his fastball in recent starts.
"Even in the early innings when he mislocated some pitches, I thought he found a much better rhythm," Farrell said. "When you look at the last three starts, it's predominantly been because of the trust in his fastball."
Still, even an improved Romero wasn't enough against the AL East leaders. Mark Teixeira hit his 22nd home run and the Yankees won their third consecutive game, snapping a three-game skid at Rogers Centre. New York had not won three straight since sweeping Toronto at Yankee Stadium from July 16-18.
"It seems like we're starting to pick it up a little bit," New York catcher Russell Martin said.
Making his first start in center field since 2008, Suzuki drove in five runs for the first time since Aug. 17, 2004, with Seattle against Kansas City.
"He has a knack for finding ways to get on base," Martin said. "He kind of solidifies the bottom of our lineup."
Garcia (6-5) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to win back-to-back starts for the second time this season. He also did it July 7 at Boston and July 14 against the Angels.
Garcia, who walked none and struck out four, retired his final eight batters and won in Toronto for the first time since Sept. 17, 2000, with Seattle. The right-hander came in 0-5 with a 9.42 ERA in six starts since his last victory north of the border.
"I hate this ballpark," Garcia said. "I think baseball should be played on regular grass. Sometimes you get a routine groundball and it's a double."
The Blue Jays returned home after going 2-8 on a three-city trip that began with a sweep in Seattle and ended with a sweep at Tampa Bay. They opened a 10-game homestand, their longest of the season, against the AL's three division leaders in New York, Chicago and Texas.
Kelly Johnson homered and hit an RBI double for Toronto.
Suzuki had an RBI grounder in the second, a two-run single in the eighth and a two-run double in the ninth.
Teixeira gave the Yankees a 4-2 advantage when he homered into the second deck in right on reliever Steve Delabar's first pitch of the eighth. New York piled on after that, with Martin reaching on a bloop single that hit Johnson in the head and Suzuki following with a two-run single.
Martin said he'd never seen a play like his looper that dropped over Johnson's glove and struck him on the side of his hat.
"I hit it off the cap so it probably had some weird spin on it," Martin said. "It obviously did something funny. It was not his most glorious moment, that's for sure."
NOTES: Toronto OF Colby Rasmus left after eight innings with tightness in his right groin and is day to day. ... The Blue Jays claimed RHP Juan Abreu off waivers from Houston and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison (elbow) and RHP Dustin McGowan (shoulder) both had surgery Thursday. ... Recalled from Triple-A before the game, RHP David Carpenter was optioned back to the minors after giving up four runs in his Toronto debut. INF Mike McCoy was recalled from Las Vegas to take his place.