Jays show who's boss, 4-0 Toronto win drops Yanks two back

August 03, 1993|By Jack Curry | Jack Curry,N.Y. Times News Service

NEW YORK -- The Toronto Blue Jays did not need Rickey Henderson last night. Or Roberto Alomar. Or manager Cito Gaston.

Henderson has not joined the team since being obtained from Oakland on Saturday, and Alomar and Gaston were ejected in the first inning. But the Jays had Devon White batting leadoff one last time against the Yankees, and he was special. Very special.

With August pennant fever raging in the Bronx, with 43,304 spectators at Yankee Stadium on a muggy evening, with advertisements touting this four-game series as the "Summer Showdown," and with Jim Abbott and Todd Stottlemyre matching zeros for five innings, White interrupted the tidy affair by lacing a two-run homer in the sixth that vaulted the Jays to a 4-0 victory at Yankee Stadium.

It was a quick blast off White's bat that hugged the left-field line, nicked the foul pole and silenced thousands of fans. Six inches to the left and Abbott would have been smiling.

Henderson was to assume the leadoff spot when he finally reports for duty today, but White enjoyed a final fling in the lofty perch that he has manned for the season. His 12th homer and Joe Carter's two-run shot in the ninth boosted the Jays to their 10th victory in 12 games.

"I thought it was a pretty good pitch," said Abbott, regarding his slider to White. "I didn't like where it landed, though."

By losing to the Jays for the fifth time in seven games, the Yankees stumbled to two games behind first-place Toronto. The Yankees have lost 16 of their past 20 to Toronto and, no matter how diligent manager Buck Showalter was about playing down the most important series in the Bronx since 1987, they again failed to prove that they can topple the World Series champions. In order to leap above the Jays, the Yankees must now sweep the next three.

"We can't sit here and worry about what people say is a tendency," Showalter said. "We have to go and try to turn it around in our favor."

Stottlemyre (6-7) pitched seven scoreless innings for his first victory in his past six starts, and Danny Cox followed with two shutout innings to stifle the top-hitting team in the majors on nine singles. Abbott (8-9) watched his three-game winning streak disappear because of two misplaced pitches and because an offense that had averaged 6.5 runs in its previous 24 home games was blanked.

The Yankees' offensive troubles began in the first as Wade Boggs, who led off with a single and advanced to third on Dion James's single, was easily thrown out at the plate after Don Mattingly lined out to shallow left field.

Willie Canate, who now will become Henderson's caddie, fired a bullet to Pat Borders and Boggs was out on what was a questionable decision by third-base coach Clete Boyer to send Mattingly home.

So it really was a good night for the Jays without Henderson. Their leadoff batter hit the winning homer and their left fielder squelched a Yankees rally.

"What I did tonight," White said, "Rickey can top any day of the week."

Offensive futility plagued the Yankees after their ugly first. They stranded eight runners and even Mike Stanley, who has already hit three grand slams, could not repeat his magic when he flied to right with the bases filled in the fourth.

"It's impossible to go out and hit every single night," Danny Tartabull said after the Yankees were shut out for the second time this season. "We don't like it when it happens, but it's not the end of the world."

The Jays knew they would not have Henderson, but they did not expect to lose Alomar, their No. 2 hitter, and Gaston in the top of the first. After Abbott whiffed Alomar with a pitch on the inside corner, Alomar stood at the plate for about 10 seconds shaking his head.

After Alomar strolled toward the dugout, he yelled at umpire Joe Brinkman and was ejected. Alomar was enraged that Brinkman tossed him and tried to charge toward the umpire, but, in a comical display, Gaston grabbed him by the shirttail and stopped him. Alomar's feet moved briskly, but he did not budge. When it was obvious that he had been stifled, Alomar slammed his helmet. Arguing Alomar's ejection, Gaston was tossed seconds later.

"I don't respect him," Alomar said. "He don't respect us."

But the Yankees respect the Jays. They have no choice.

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