Updated: 8/25/10 7:12 a.m.
TORONTO (AP) — Locked in a tight race with Tampa Bay in the AL East, the New York Yankees can’t afford any drop in production while slugger Alex Rodriguez is on the disabled list. That wasn’t a problem Tuesday night.
Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer, Marcus Thames added a two-run drive and three other Yankees hit solo blasts as New York pounded the Toronto Blue Jays 11-5.
“We have power in our lineup and we had production from a lot of people tonight,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira also connected as the Yankees won for the sixth time in eight games.
“We came swinging today,” Posada said. “We got a lot of good pitches to hit and we didn’t miss them.”
Teixeira and Posada both went 4 for 5 with two RBIs, while Thames and Granderson both had three hits. New York’s 17 hits were one shy of its season high.
“That was a true team effort tonight. We were just aggressive and we were swinging at good pitches,” Teixeira said.
Teixeira, who leads the team in homers, has reached safely in 62 of 68 games, raising his average to .262.
“I’ve felt pretty good the last week or so,” Teixeira said. “This is going to be a a big stretch for us, these last five or six weeks of the season. Hopefully I can keep that going.”
Right-hander Dustin Moseley (4-2) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. He walked four and struck out four.
“I had all my pitches working,” Moseley said. “I had a good changeup and a good cutter tonight and then made pitches when I needed to.”
Chad Gaudin pitched two innings and Kerry Wood worked the ninth for the Yankees.
New York got its offensive barrage started early, with Teixeira hitting an RBI single in the first and Eduardo Nunez driving in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder in the second.
The Yankees chased Blue Jays left-hander Marc Rzepczynski (1-2) with a four-run, three-homer third. Teixeira was the first to go deep, hitting a one-out drive into the second deck in left, his 28th. Robinson Cano walked and Thames blasted his fifth, a shot to left, before Posada followed with his 16th, also to left. It was the sixth time this season the Yankees have hit back-to-back homers.
Rzepczynski allowed six runs and eight hits in three innings, his shortest career start. He walked two and struck out one.
“With this team, any ball that’s down the middle is going to go a long way,” Rzepczynski said.
Toronto got one back on Vernon Wells’ run-scoring single in the fourth, his first RBI since Aug. 8, but the Yankees responded with a four-run fifth off reliever Brian Tallet. Granderson homered to right, his 14th, and Jeter ended a 131 at-bat homerless streak with a shot to left, giving him 15 consecutive seasons with at least 10 homers.
The Yankees have 44 four-run innings this season, the most in the majors.
Posada made it 11-1 with an RBI single in the top of the sixth before Blue Jays catcher John Buck answered with an RBI single in the bottom half. Adam Lind tried to score from second, but was thrown out at the plate by Granderson.
“That was huge, that was a great throw,” Moseley said.
Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher left after fouling a pitch off his left knee in the seventh. Facing reliever Casey Janssen, Swisher fouled a 1-2 pitch off his knee and fell to the ground in pain. Trainer Gene Monahan and manager Joe Girardi came out to check on Swisher, who stayed in the game for two more pitches before being replaced by Brett Gardner, who struck out looking. The strikeout was charged to Swisher.
“I didn’t see him finishing his swing, using his lower half so I decided to take him out,” Girardi said.
Swisher was limping around the clubhouse after the game and wearing a wrap on his knee but said he hoped to play Wednesday.
“You know me, I don’t want to be out of the lineup,” he said. “Whatever I can do to get back in that lineup tomorrow I’m going to do.”
Toronto closed the gap with a three runs in the bottom half against Gaudin. Wells hit an RBI single and Lind followed with a two-run double.
NOTES: Yankees RHP Javier Vazquez is moving to the bullpen for the time being, with RHP Ivan Nova set to start in his place Sunday at Chicago. … Toronto LHP Ricky Romero has been away from the team the past two days suffering from strep throat. … New York announced plans for a monument to former owner George Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park, to be unveiled Sept. 20.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)