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Yunel Escobar Drives in 5 Runs as Blue Jays Defeat Yankees 8-5

Yunel Escobar drove in five runs as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the American League East-leading New York Yankees 8-5.

The Yankees (75-55) remain 3 1/2 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, who lost 8-1 last night to the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays (71-59) are now four games behind the Yankees in the division after they beat the Texas Rangers 8-4.

“We didn’t play well, that’s the bottom line,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters after his team made three errors that led to four unearned runs. “We had chances offensively -- didn’t get it done. We had chances defensively -- didn’t get it done.”

Escobar hit a run-scoring double in the third inning to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead last night at Yankee Stadium. He added a two-run homer in the sixth inning and a two-run double in the ninth.

The Toronto shortstop, who also doubled in the eighth inning, became the first Major League Baseball player with at least four extra-base hits in a game against the Yankees since the Los Angeles Angels’ Garrett Anderson on Aug. 21, 2007.

Curtis Granderson drove in three runs with a run-scoring single in the first and a two-run double in the third that gave the Yankees their last lead at 4-3.

J.A. Happ (3-1) allowed four runs on four hits and struck out six in five innings. Casey Janssen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 17th save.

Sabathia’s Streak ends

C.C. Sabathia (13-4) broke his six-game winning streak in giving up five runs on nine hits in seven innings. He struck out eight. Three of the runs he allowed were unearned.

“You also have to give them credit for good at-bats, but I need to make better pitches,” Sabathia said.

The Yankees have the second-best record in the AL, two games worse than the Rangers, who fell to 77-53.

The Orioles (71-58) and Oakland Athletics (72-57) are tied in the race for the AL’s two wild-card playoff berths, one-half game ahead of the Rays. The Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 8-4 yesterday.

The Washington Nationals, who lead the National League East, broke their five-game losing streak with an 8-4 victory against the Miami Marlins.

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