Teixeira, Yankees come up short in the clutch
NEW YORK – This one time, Mark Teixeira was glad to see his line drive land in someone's glove.
Teixeira came close to hitting a scorcher off pitcher Ricky Romero's head, then later became one of several Yankees to come up short in a key spot Friday night as the Toronto Blue Jays beat New York 5-3.
Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher all failed to drive in a run with the bases loaded. The Yankees stranded a season-high 11 — they went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
"Can't say we didn't have our chances because we had a lot of them," Swisher said.
The game took a dangerous turn in the third inning when Teixeira hit a liner directly back at Romero. The left-hander somehow managed to catch the ball inches from his face, and the impact sent him sprawling backward on the mound.
"I'm glad I didn't hit him. I'm glad he caught it," Teixeira said. "If he doesn't get his glove up, then it might've been ugly."
Romero was down for a moment, and Toronto infielders and plate umpire John Hirschbeck went to check on him. The crowd of 40,830 gasped when the replay was shown on the videoboard and Teixeira mouthed "wow" in the dugout.
"Cover your face. That's the first thing that comes to mind," Romero said. "I don't know how I did it."
"I guess there's an angel next to me right there," he said.
Robinson Cano hit a pair of solo home runs for the Yankees, including a shot in the eighth inning. New York went on to load the bases with one out, but Jeter struck out and Swisher grounded out.
"It's always frustrating when you don't come through," Jeter said. "I like to be in those situations."
Jose Bautista hit his AL-leading ninth home run and J.P. Arencibia also connected for Toronto. Speedy Rajai Davis returned from the disabled list and stole two bases, then scored when reliever David Robertson botched a first-and-third pickoff play and made a wild throw.
"I didn't set my feet," Robertson said. "I blew it."
A winner on opening day, Romero (2-3) had gone 0-3 in four starts since. Toronto hitters hadn't helped much during that drought, scoring a total of only four runs in those outings.
This time, the Blue Jays gave Romero an early lead and he made it stand — even if he wasn't able to stay on his feet the whole way after Teixeira's liner.
After getting back on his feet, Romero struck out Rodriguez to end the inning.
Romero escaped a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fifth to preserve a 3-2 lead, thanks to shortstop Yunel Escobar's slick fielding. Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion helped create the jam when he dropped Swisher's line drive and threw it away, costing Toronto a chance at a triple play.
But Escobar ranged into short left field to backhand Teixeira's looper, and followed by gliding into the hole to start a double play on Rodriguez's grounder. Romero punctuated the neat play with a shout, twice slamming his fist into his glove.
Cano homered on reliever Shawn Camp's first pitch in the eighth. Octavio Dotel fanned Jeter, then Jon Rauch retired Swisher and closed in the ninth for his fifth save.
Bautista, who led the majors with 54 home runs last year, lined a two-run shot into the second deck in left field for a 2-0 lead in the third.
Freddy Garcia (1-1) had not allowed a run in his other two starts this year, going six innings each time.
After Garcia struck out Juan Rivera with the bases loaded to end the top of the fourth, Cano led off the bottom half with his seventh home run, pulling the Yankees within 3-2.
NOTES: Cano had his seventh career multihomer game, and first since exactly a year ago. ... Robertson, raised in Tuscaloosa, Ala., pitched for the first time since a tornado devastated the area. He said his family back home is OK.