x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hill drives Toronto to victory

Toronto claimed a series win over the New York Yankees with a 14-8 margin in American League East.

Toronto Blue Jays Marco Scutario, left, Vernon Wells, centre, and Aaron Hill, right, celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees on Sunday.
Toronto Blue Jays Marco Scutario, left, Vernon Wells, centre, and Aaron Hill, right, celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees on Sunday.

Toronto claimed a series win over the New York Yankees with a 14-8 margin in American League East. The Blue Jays answered every Yankees rally with one of their own, including an eight-run outburst in the fifth inning which saw them to victory. Aaron Hill doubled twice, driving in three runs and scoring the same at Rogers Centre. However, the Canadians are a lowly seventh in the wild card race in which Boston extended their lead after a 6-1 victory over Chicago White Sox.

Jon Lester became the 10th pitcher in club history to reach the 200-strikeout mark with eight punch-outs as Boston also got homers from Mike Lowell and Victor Martinez. Central league leaders Detroit Tigers completed a series sweep against Tampa Bay, with a 5-3 win which saw them extend their lead to a season-high seven games. Tampa are third in the wild card race behind Boston and Texas, who were beaten 7-0 by Baltimore - the bottom side taking the final two games of the series.

Minnesota are still second in Central, despite a 3-1 defeat by Cleveland, while bottom side Kansas went down 7-2 to West leaders Los Angeles - who swept the series. Seattle are still fourth in the wild card race despite a second successive defeat against Oakland by 5-2. Despite their loss, it was a big day for Ichiro Suzuki - who became the second-fastest Major Leaguer to reach 2,000 hits.

In the National League, Houston inflicted a series sweep on leaders Philadelphia with a 4-3 victory. The match saw Bud Norris bounce back after below-average form, giving up just two runs in six innings. Basement side Washington edged Florida 5-4 to halt an eight-match losing streak, after Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the ninth. It meant Florida lost ground in the wild card race in third.

Cincinnati completed a series win over Atlanta by 4-2 as the Reds extended their winning streak to seven games. Central leaders St Louis went down 6-5 to Pittsburgh, while San Francisco remain second in the wild card standings despite a 2-1 defeat by Milwaukee. Basement side San Diego inflicted a shock 4-3 defeat on West leaders Los Angeles, while Colorado hold a two-game lead in the wild card standings after a 13-5 win over Arizona.

Seth Smith recorded his first two-homer game and equalled his career best with five RBIs - while Ian Stewart and Carlos Gonzalez also went deep. * PA Sport