Nova, who entered the game without a win since July 8, struck out ten batters in seven-plus innings of two-run ball. He allowed five hits and only one walk as his slider was extremely effective for the first time in a long time.
McGehee starting at third base with left-hander Aaron Laffey on the mound, went 2-for-4 with a double and a decisive three-run home run, his first as a Yankee. The homer was an absolute moonshot into the second deck in left center field. McGehee was suffering from a lengthy slump before yesterday’s contest. He had only one hit in nine at-bats since being traded to the Yankees from the Pirates on July 31, and was 2-for-23 dating back to July 25. The homer was his first since July 18 at Colorado.
Jayson Nix, starting at shortstop to give Derek Jeter a half day of rest at DH, ripped a two-out single in the top of the fourth inning to open the scoring for the Yankees. McGehee followed with his mammoth home run to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
Nova, who had been sported plenty of runs during his slide, made this effort hold up, though he had to wiggle out of trouble immediately in the bottom half of the inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Rajai Davis, balked him to second and then gave up a run-scoring single to Edwin Encarnacion. He hit Yunel Escobar, but then got the final two outs of the inning without further damage. He cruised from that point on and was removed with one out in the eighth inning after allowing another RBI-single to Encarnacion.
Jeter went 2-for-5 on the night and became just the second player in MLB history, joining Hank Aaron, to record at least 150 hits in 17 consecutive seasons with a ground-rule double which drove in the Yankees’ final run.
The Yankees (67-46) hold a six-game lead in the American League East over a red-hot Tampa Bay Rays team. The Blue Jays (53-60) fell 14 games back of the Bombers.
The Yanks will go for the sweep this afternoon with Phil Hughes on the mound. Hughes (11-9, 4.10 ERA) is looking to bounce back from a short and ineffective start against the Detroit Tigers his last time out. The Blue Jays send J.A. Happ (0-1, 6.35 ERA) to the mound for his second start in a Jays uniform.