NEW YORK – Travis Snider hit two of an AL record-tying six doubles in a seven-run fifth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays prolonged Alex Rodriguez's search for his 600th homer in a 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night.
Snider began the barrage of doubles with a leadoff hit against A.J. Burnett and finished it with a drive off Sergio Mitre. In between, Fred Lewis, Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill all doubled off Burnett (9-9).
The power surge matched the Washington Senators, who had six against the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning on June 9, 1934, and the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2002, against the Yankees.
The Yankees rallied from an 8-2 deficit but fell into a tie for first place in the AL East with Tampa Bay, which beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2. New York dropped two of three games this weekend against the Rays. The Yankees had been alone in first since June 20.
Rodriguez returned to the comforts of Yankee Stadium after a homerless, seven-game road trip, but 600 still looms after an 0-for-5 night. A-Rod is 9 for 43 in 11 games since hitting No. 599 on July 22 against Kansas City.
He grounded to short in the first and struck out with a big swing in the third — when he worked the count to 3-1, the crowd roared in excitement only to groan in disappointment with the out. The slugger struck out to end the fifth and grounded out to shortstop in the seventh.
Rodriguez came up with two outs in the ninth to a huge ovation from the many remaining in the crowd of 47,034. But he grounded to shortstop against closer Kevin Gregg, who gave up Nick Swisher's second homer of the game but finished for his 24th save in 28 chances.
The real damage with the long ball, though, was done by the Blue Jays, baseball's leading home run-hitting team with 163. Wells ended Burnett's scoreless streak at 12 1-3 innings with a leadoff drive in the second that just cleared the wall above the 314-foot sign in right field, the shortest part of the ballpark.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run shot after Snider led off the fifth with his first double.
Swisher had given the Yankees the early lead, connecting for a two-run homer in the first after Derek Jeter singled. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run blast in the fifth to close the score to 8-4. Lance Berkman got his first RBI with the Yankees when he singled off Brandon Morrow to end the starter's night with one out in the sixth.
Morrow (8-6) won his third straight start despite allowing five runs and seven hits in another poor start on the road. Morrow came in 1-5 with a 6.23 ERA in seven outings away from home.
Encarnacion followed a double by Snider with a two-run homer that gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Burnett then walked former teammate Jose Molina and gave up a double down the third-base line to Lewis. Yunel Escobar hit a grounder to third and Rodriguez threw home to get Molina, who broke late for the plate. Bautista then lined a two-run double to left-center and Wells drove him in with a two-bagger to left.
Lyle Overbay struck out before Hill ended Burnett's outing with an RBI double. Mitre then relieved and gave up Snider's run-scoring double to left-center to make it 8-2.
After two scoreless outings, Burnett gave up eight runs — the second time this season he gave up eight earned runs and seventh time he gave up more than six runs in an uneven year.
NOTES: The major league record for doubles in an inning is held by the Boston Braves, who had seven in the first inning on Aug. 25, 1936, against the St. Louis Cardinals. ... The Yankees held a moment of silence for former captain and catcher Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash on Aug. 2, 1979. They also showed a video of highlights from his career during the third inning. ... Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston gave OF Adam Lind a day off. Gaston said several players will get rest in the upcoming days.