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Pettitte tries to inch Yanks closer to playoffs vs. Jays

Andy Pettitte goes after his third straight win since returning from the disabled list on Saturday when the New York Yankees try to move one step closer to a postseason spot against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

New York maintained its one-game lead in the American League East on Friday, as Russell Martin blasted a three-run homer in the Yankees' 11-4 rout of the Blue Jays.

Nick Swisher stroked a two-run double in the opening frame and Eric Chavez book-ended the victory with a two-run home run in the ninth inning.

The Yankees, though, failed to gain any ground on Baltimore in the division, as the Orioles fired a one-hitter in a 9-1 home win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) labored through 5 1/3 innings by giving up a season-high tying 10 hits along with two runs.

"Our defense kind of picked him up a little bit the first two innings," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You look up, they have three doubles, five hits total, a walk and don't score a run in two innings."

Chad Jenkins (0-3) remained without a victory after 12 major league appearances. In his second start, the right-hander gave up four hits and three runs over 3 2/3 innings.

Rajai Davis went 4-for-4 for the Blue Jays, who failed to build on a 6-0 win in the opener of this four-game series. Colby Rasmus and Adam Lind homered in the defeat.

Pettitte, meanwhile, has been magnificent after a nearly three-month layoff and has yet to allow a run in 11 innings since returning. Against the Minnesota Twins on Monday the veteran left-hander scattered seven hits over six scoreless innings to improve to 5-3, while lowering his ERA to 2.71.

"There's nothing that fazes him," said Swisher. "He comes back (from retirement), breaks his foot on a crazy play, has been itching to get back in the (rotation) for a long time, and once he does, he delivers -- every single time. You can only just look at that and be like, 'Man, I want to be like that.'"

Pettitte, who is on track to start a potential one-game wild card matchup for the Yanks, beat the Jays in his first start back and limited them to four hits over five innings without giving up a run. He is 22-12 lifetime versus them with a 4.09 ERA in 43 games (42 starts).

It's been a forgettable year for Toronto lefty Ricky Romero, who won for the first time in 16 starts his last time out. Romero had been 0-13 in his previous 15 trips to the hill before beating Baltimore on Monday.

"It feels good; it wasn't pretty from my side, but I battled out of some jams," said Romero, who allowed four runs in five innings en route to his first win since June 22.

An All-Star last season, Romero is just 9-14 with a 5.76 ERA this season.

He lost to the Yankees three times in his drought and is a mere 3-7 against them with a 4.76 ERA in 14 starts.

New York has won 10 of 16 from the Jays this season.