Rivera eyes saves record in finale with Jays

Mariano Rivera can become the all-time saves leader this game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning and tied Trevor Hoffman with save No. 601 on Saturday, as the Yankees rallied from a five-run deficit to post a 7-6 victory.

Alex Rodriguez's three-run homer got the Yankees back in it and Curtis Granderson's two-run shot proved to be the difference for New York, which moved 4 1/2-games ahead of the Red Sox atop the American League East standings after Boston lost to Tampa Bay.

Rodriguez, who had missed six games with a thumb injury, returned to go 2- for-4. Granderson's home run was his team-leading 40th of the season, as he finished 3-for-3 with a walk. He is now one of four Yankees to record 40 home runs, 20 doubles and 10 triples in the same season, joining Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.

Rivera, though, was the story, as he picked up his 42nd save of the season and passed former teammate Mike Stanton with a record 14 seasons of at least 60 appearances. He has also converted his last 13 save opportunities.

"I think it just puts the stamp, the final stamp on it -- he's the greatest closer of all time," Yankee manager Joe Girardi said of a record 602. "I don't think in this room we have any question, and as I said, I don't want to take anything away from Trevor Hoffman, but when you've been around Mo as long as I have, you'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."

Getting the call today for the Yanks will be righty Freddy Garcia, who is 11-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Garcia, though, has been bad of late, surrendering 12 runs in 7 2/3 innings of his last two starts. However, he did not get a decision in either contest, both Yankee wins.

Garcia was awful in a loss in Toronto back on July 15 when he allowed six runs (five earned) in five innings. He's 1-2 against the Jays this season and 7-7 all-time with a 6.10 ERA in 17 starts.

Toronto will counter with hard-throwing righty Brandon Morrow, who is 9-11 with a 5.23 ERA. Morrow has lost his last four decisions and has surrendered five or more runs in five of his last six starts.

"It's just been a rough stretch that's kind of been wearing on me, I guess," Morrow said after that start, "but every five days I can go out there and feel good. I feel like I'm going to break out of it on that day, and that's how I'll feel in five days."

Morrow has faced the Yankees 15 times (nine starts) and is 3-2 against them with a 4.66 ERA.

New York, which is a major league-best 40-11 in day games, has won 11 of its 17 meetings with the Jays this season.