Andy Pettitte receives a standing ovation from fans as he walks to the dugout following his last inning in today's 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Pettitte didn't miss a beat in his first start since June 27. (Image: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)

Yankees avoid disastrous finish; Pettitte wins in return

In the first game of a day/night double-header the New York Yankees had to be happy with the performance of Andy Pettitte in his first outing since June 27, but David Robertson almost gave the game away with an awful eighth inning. Joe Girardi called on Rafael Soriano for a four-out save and received a tack on run in the bottom of the inning to hold off the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte looked very good in his five innings of scoreless ball, tossing exactly the number of pitches (75) manager Joe Girardi hoped to get from the veteran southpaw. He allowed four hits and two walks and struck out three. After the fifth, Girardi tried to piece together the final four innings and played it like the game was on the line with a three-run lead seemingly forgetting there was another game tonight.

The Yankees offense jumped all over Henderson Alvarez with three runs on three hits in the first inning and then tried to coast from there as Alvarez settled down pitching through the seventh inning. At one point it looked as though the three runs would not be enough as Robertson got knocked around allowing two runs on four hits, recording only two outs both via strikeout.

Soriano came on with runners on second and third and walked Anthony Gose to load the bases. Rajai Davis lined out to left fielder Ichiro Suzuki who almost misplayed the ball into the go ahead runs for the Blue Jays. Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, looking much more comfortable with a two-run lead and no runners on base.

Robinson Cano had a RBI-double in the first and the other two Yankee runs came on a ground out by Alex Rodriguez and a sac fly from Curtis Granderson. Nick Swisher drove in Suzuki with the insurance run in the ninth.

Pettitte was spectacular in his time on the mound and gives plenty of hope to the Yankees as he basically picked up right where he left off in June. Should the Yankees reach the postseason and Pettitte remains healthy, the Yankees could have a formidble rotation provided CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda reverse recent struggles plus receive stepped up production from either Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova.

The Yankees (84-63) take a 1/2 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles heading into the nightcap. David Phelps (4-4, 3.39 EA) goes against Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.87 ERA) tonight at 7:05.

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