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Moseley To Pitch As Yankees Face Blue Jays

(Sports Network) - Will tonight be the night?

Alex Rodriguez's quest to become the youngest player to 600 home runs continues this evening when the New York Yankees resume a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

Rodriguez has gone 43 at-bats and 48 plate appearances since hitting No. 599 back on July 22 in the Bronx. Once Rodriguez finally reaches the milestone, he should easily become the youngest player to do so. Babe Ruth hit his 600th at age 36, while Rodriguez turned 35 just last week.

"It's gonna happen. You just want him to continue to try to have good at-bats and try not to think about it too much," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "But it's easy to say, 'Don't think about it.' But he's asked about it every day, and there's flashbulbs going off every time he goes up; change the balls. So I don't know how you don't think about it."

Ruth may have reached the plateau quicker, hitting No. 600 in his 6,921st at- bat, but Rodriguez's pace (8,684 at-bats entering play Monday) trails only that of Barry Bonds (8,212) and eclipses Willie Mays (9,514) and Henry Aaron (10,009).

However, his amount of at-bats between home runs is the longest drought between homers 599 and 600 of the six other members in the club.

"I only have 16 home runs," Rodriguez said. "Its not like I had 30 and stopped. I haven't hit the home run as often this year. For me, its about productivity and putting good at-bats and finishing at-bats. I thought I swung the bat a little better today."

The Yankees lost sole possession of first place in the American League East on Monday, as Vernon Wells doubled, homered and drove in two runs, helping Toronto to an 8-6 win.

Rodriguez was 0-for-5 in the loss.

The Blue Jays scored seven runs in the fifth inning off Yankees starter A.J. Burnett (9-9) before New York chipped away at its deficit. The Yankees had chances to potentially draw even, but the Toronto bullpen held on, making a winner of Brandon Morrow (8-6). The Blue Jays starter allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings, and struck out nine.

"I wasn't in trouble too much, just a couple pitches I left up and out, and they put them over the fence," said Morrow, who gave up two home runs among his seven hits allowed.

Edwin Encarnacion also homered for Toronto, which snapped a two-game slide.

Nick Swisher homered twice and Mark Teixeira added a two-run shot, but the Yankees lost their second in a row and fell into a tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the division. The Rays beat Minnesota on Monday.

Heading to the hill for the Jays this evening will be lefty Ricky Romero, who is 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA. Romero beat the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, as he allowed two runs and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Romero has faced the Yankees five times in his young career and is 1-2 against them with a 6.91 ERA.

New York, meanwhile, will hand the ball to Dustin Moseley, who will be making his second start in place of the injured Andy Pettitte. Moseley beat the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, holding them to a run and four hits in six innings.

Moseley is 0-1 lifetime against the Jays with a 2.25 ERA in three games (one start).

The Jays have won four of their seven games with the Yanks this season after losing 12 of the 18 matchups between the clubs a year ago.