NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ivan Nova won his 11th straight decision with some help from a rangy outfield and Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning, lifting the New York Yankees to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Nova (15-4) was nearly unhittable for seven innings after giving up two runs in the first and Brett Gardner’s two-run homer in the third.
New York returned early Friday from a successful trip to Boston.
Gardner, Andruw Jones and Curtis Granderson all made impressive plays to help the Yankees improve to 12-0 in Nova’s last 12 starts.
Brandon Morrow (9-10) made few mistakes against a Yankees lineup missing Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, their Nos. 3 and 4 hitters. Teixeira was hit by a pitch on his right knee on Thursday and was still sore a day later. Rodriguez was out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with a strained left thumb.
Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 37th save in 42 chances one night after striking out Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded to close out a victory against the Red Sox that gave New York a win in two of three games against their AL East rival.
Gardner lined a 3-1 pitch over the fence in right-center for the Yankees’ first hit Friday, a two-run drive with one out in the third. Russell Martin had walked leading off and Eduardo Nunez lined out to right field before Gardner came up.
Morrow gave up just three more hits but he was hurt by another walk, to Granderson, in the fifth. He gave Granderson the pass after Jeter singled to put runners on first and second. Cano then lined a single to center, scoring Jeter for the 3-2 lead.
Nova held the Blue Jays without a hit after Jose Bautista singled in a run with no outs in the first inning until Eric Thames doubled with one out in the sixth.
The 24-year-old rookie has solidified his spot in a crowded New York rotation that will be cut to five pitchers early next week by improving to 7-0 since being recalled from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre on July 30. He gave up three hits and two walks — one intentional — and struck out four.
Adam Lind followed Bautista’s single in the first with a sacrifice fly for the game’s first out — and a 2-0 Toronto lead. Then with Bautista running, Edwin Encarnacion hit a sharp liner to left caught by a sliding Gardner. Bautista had already rounded second and conceded the double play.
All Jeter had to do was take Garnder’s throw and roll the ball to first baseman Nick Swisher, getting his first start there this season in place of Teixeira.
Bautista robbed Granderson of seeing another pitch in the second when he made a leaping catch at the wall in foul territory down the right-field lne. In the fourth, Bautista was on the other end, sending a long drive to right-center that Jones caught above the wall for the first out.
Gardner made a long running catch in the fifth on a drive by rookie Brett Lawrie. In the sixth, Jones went down to the ground to make a catch of Yunell Escobar’s sinking liner and Granderson caught Lind’s drive running into the wall in center.
Toronto played an eighth straight game without manager John Farrell. He is recovering from pneumonia and won’t be with the Jays this weekend. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu is running the team in Farrell’s place.
NOTES: Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan, out since 2008 because of an injured right shoulder that required two operations, pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings, scattering four hits, for Double-A New Hamsphire in his fifth rehab start. Wakamatsu said McGowan had no problems at all. He could join the Blue Jays this month. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said LHP CC Sabathia will start Sunday and RHP Freddy Garcia Monday but wouldn’t commit to a starter for Tuesday. … Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (13-9) will face New York RHP Bartolo Colon (8-9) on Saturday. … The Yankees honored former players Bernie Williams and Luis Arroyo and current bench coach Tony Pena for being selected into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame.