Hill, Snider and Buck homer, Blue Jays beat Yanks

Aaron Hill hit a three-run homer, John Buck and Travis Snider added solo drives and the Toronto Blue Jays gave retiring manager Cito Gaston a winning send-off in his home finale, beating the New York Yankees 8-4 Wednesday night.

The Yankees remained a half-game behind Tampa Bay in the AL East race. The Rays lost 2-0 to Baltimore.

Alex Rodriguez homered for the Yankees, giving him 13 straight years with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Toronto leads baseball with 247 home runs, the fifth-highest single season total in major league history. Seattle hit a record 264 in 1997.

Hill drove in four runs as the Blue Jays won for the sixth time in seven games. The Yankees, already assured a playoff spot, saw Javier Vazquez (10-10) get tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Brett Cecil (14-7) allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings to win his third straight outing. He is 11-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 15 starts against AL East opponents.

Jason Frasor worked 1 2-3 innings and Shawn Camp pitched the eighth for Toronto. Kevin Gregg came on after the first two batters reached against Jesse Carlson in the ninth. Gregg gave up an RBI grounder to Rodriguez, then got Robinson Cano to fly to center for the final out.

Rodriguez has 123 RBIs. His 14 total seasons with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs are the most in major league history.

Hank Aaron holds the record with 15 seasons with at least 30 home runs. Rodriguez and Barry Bonds are tied for second with 14.

Gaston was honored in a 30-minute pregame celebration featuring former players George Bell, Joe Carter, Pat Hentgen and Devon White. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he thanked the fans for their support, and the crowd of 33,143 gave him several standing ovations.

Gaston guided the Blue Jays to their first two World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. He managed Toronto through 1997, was hitting coach in 2000 and 2001 and returned as manager in June 2008.

Toronto star Vernon Wells complimented Gaston on his trademark mustache during the speeches. After the ceremony ended, many Blue Jays and coaches used a marker to draw fake mustaches on their faces.

The Blue Jays' total home attendance for the season was 1,625,555. That's their lowest total since 1982, when they drew 1,275,978.

Once the game began, Snider got the Blue Jays rolling with a leadoff drive to right in the first, his 13th and second in as many games.

Buck hit his 20th homer in the second. John McDonald followed with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Snider's single.

Toronto added one more in the fourth when Hill scored on McDonald's grounder, then pulled away in the fifth when Hill hit his 26th home run.

Hill's drive spelled the end Vazquez, who started in place of Andy Pettitte after New York clinched a playoff berth by beating Toronto 6-1 on Tuesday.

The Yankees chased Cecil with a three-run sixth. Rodriguez homered and Francisco Cervelli and Greg Golson hit RBI singles. Frasor came on and escaped by a bases-loaded jam by getting Nick Swisher to ground into a double play.

Hill made it 8-3 with an RBI single off Joba Chamberlain in the seventh.

NOTES: 3B Rodriguez made a throwing error in the seventh, his first error since July 16 against Tampa Bay. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi also came over to shake Gaston's hand before batting practice. ... Pettitte and A.J. Burnett will start at Boston on Friday and Saturday, Girardi said. The starter for Sunday's season finale has not been announced.