Blue Jays capture crucial victory over Yankees

Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:20am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Marcus Stroman pitched seven strong innings and catcher Russell Martin hit a three-run homer in a crucial 4-0 win over the Yankees, which gave the Blue Jays a 3-1/2-game lead over the second-place New Yorkers in the American League East.

"That was really the perfect game for him to pitch in," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Stroman's performance. "It was a big game, a real big game and he came through.

"He thrives on that, that's what he wants to do. I've never seen the kid rattled, he's got a great arm, which is the key. The perfect guy."

Stroman (3-0) allowed five hits, one walk and struck out five in his third start after returning from knee surgery in March.

"My slider was good today," Stroman said. "I predominately threw sliders, I didn't throw many curve balls. It's a good pitch and I had pretty good success with it."

Martin homered against right-hander Andrew Bailey to break open a tight game in the seventh. The Blue Jays had taken a 1-0 lead in the sixth on a single by center fielder Kevin Pillar.

"I was just trying to make contact," Martin said.

"Really just trying to get a base hit, we had two guys in scoring position.

"I think they were trying to throw the fast ball in and got it out over the middle of the plate and I got a good swing on it."   Continued...

New York Yankees center fielder Slade Heathcott (72) reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Toronto defeated New York 4-0. Sep 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports