Bronx, NY – For the Toronto Blue Jays, beating the Yankees in New York is like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. It's a challenging task, and the answer continues to elude them.
Robinson Cano launched a pair of two-run homers to back a solid outing from David Phelps, as the Yankees topped the Blue Jays, 7-2, on Saturday afternoon.
Phelps (2-2) overcame early struggles to toss a career-high seven innings. He gave up one run on six hits and matched a personal best with eight strikeouts.
The Yankees have won nine straight home games against the Blue Jays and 20 of their last 23. They also improved to 8-1 in this year's season series.
Brandon Morrow (1-3), making his first start for Toronto since May 5 because of back and neck soreness, was tagged for five runs on seven hits over five frames.
Phelps issued two of his three walks in the opening frame, but picked off Jose Bautista at second base to shut down the threat. The New York right-hander escaped another jam two innings later by fanning Edwin Encarnacion with men on the corners.
The Yankees put up a three-spot in the home half of the third. A two-out single by Brett Gardner plated Jayson Nix and Cano followed with a line drive that just cleared the right-field wall.
"Robby is so important to us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Cano. "Offensively, defensively, his presence in the lineup ... he's not someone you can replace."
Toronto got on the board in the next frame when Adam Lind doubled and came around to score on Colby Rasmus' two-out single.
Cano took Morrow deep again, this time to right-center field, with two outs in the fifth for a 5-1 New York lead.
"Robinson Cano got me and he was the whole ball game," Morrow said.
Encarnacion homered off David Robertson in the eighth, but Travis Hafner, back in the New York lineup after missing the last five games with right shoulder inflammation, deposited a Darren Oliver offering in the right-field seats for a two-run blast.
Cano now has 12 career multi-homer games ... Morrow made his 100th career start ... The Yankees improved to 18-0 when scoring first this year, an AL record to start a season ... The Blue Jays' current slide in the Bronx matches their longest ever (June 21, 1979-Sept. 17, 1980) ... The Yankees acquired utilityman Reid Brignac from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for cash considerations. To open a spot on the roster for Brignac, the club designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.