Alfonso Soriano blast carries Yankees to win over Blue Jays

 

A week ago, the Yankees were riding the wave of Alfonso Soriano’s scorching bat and winning games.

Soriano’s bat has cooled off considerably but the Yankees still are winning games.

Last night, the Soriano swing from last week returned in a big way as his two-out, two-run home run lifted the Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

Soriano had an astounding .484 average (15-for-31) in winning AL Player of the Week honors last week. He also batted an absurd .682 (15-for-22) over a five-game stretch last week. But when he stepped in against R.A. Dickey in the eighth inning, he had not had a hit in 17 straight at-bats.

For Soriano, that last at-bat was more about getting acclimated to the hard knuckleballs from Dickey. He had plenty of positive experiences against the softer pitches from Tim Wakefield, but had just eight at-bats against Dickey, whose knuckleball is in the high-70s and reaches 80 on occasion.

“I just tried to swing at a good pitch to hit,” Soriano said. “The whole game, he [had] been throwing me knuckleballs, good ones, a lot of movement. Finally, the last one I got a good one to hit and that’s good to take the lead.”

Soriano’s opportunity came after Robinson Cano singled to right field off Dickey (9-12), who had allowed five hits and eight base runners to that point.

“As soon as Cano got the hit, this is a chance now to do something impressive because every game is very important for us. He was due,” manager Joe Girardi said. “As hot as he had been, he was due.”

Soriano’s ninth home run since rejoining the Yankees in a trade with the Cubs on July 26 lifted New York to its fourth straight win. The Yankees also have won 10 of their last 13 games and are within four games of the AL’s second wild-card spot.

Soriano’s big hit came on a night when others did some of the heavy lifting, including David Huff, who pitched five scoreless innings in relief for the victory.

“It’s awesome, unbelievable,” Huff said of Soriano. “That guy is unreal.”

The clutch home run also came on a night when Ichiro Suzuki reached 4,000 combined hits between Japan and MLB when he slapped a first-inning single into left field.

The game was stopped as the Yankees came out of the dugout to celebrate the moment and Ichiro removed his helmet and bowed to the crowd.

Ichiro became the third to reach 4,000 hits when the highest levels of Japan and the United States are considered. Pete Rose finished with 4,256 hits after he broke Ty Cobb’s record of 4,191 hits in 1985.

“It was supposed to be a number that was special to me but what happened tonight, I wasn’t expecting when my teammates came out to first base it was very special,” Ichiro said through an interpreter. “And to see the fans, I wasn’t expecting so much joy and happiness from them and that’s what made it very special tonight, not just the number. All the things that happened with it was very special.”

By getting the hit out of the way in his first at-bat, Ichiro could soak it in and then enjoy watching Soriano.

“It’s an amazing feat,” Girardi said. “Obviously it didn’t bother him. He wasn’t thinking about it because he gets it out of the way pretty quick tonight. But it’s just a testament to how hard he’s worked, how long he’s been in the game, how he stays healthy and the way he goes about his business. He’s a great player. He’s been a great player for a long time.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

Gossip

Blake Lively's pregnancy cravings are too weird to…

Find out what Blake Lively is rumored to send husband Ryan Reynolds to the store for.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…