(Sports Network) - A.J. Burnett can pitch the New York Yankees into the postseason this evening when they open a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
The Yankees clinched at least a tie for the wild card with a thrilling win on Sunday, as Hideki Okajima walkedJuan Miranda with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, lifting New York to a 4-3 win against the Boston Red Sox.
Robinson Cano singled in the tying run in the ninth inning and the Yankees loaded the bases in the 10th against Okajima (4-4) before Miranda walked on an inside pitch to force in Brett Gardner and end the contest.
Alex Rodriguez belted a two-run homer for the Yankees, who snapped a four-game skid and climbed within a half-game of Tampa Bay for first in the AL East. The Rays lost at home earlier Sunday to Seattle.
"That's a real big win for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "After giving up the lead in the ninth inning, to be able to come back, tie it up and get one in the 10th, that's a huge win."
Burnett, who has just one victory in his last seven decisions, takes the hill this evening following a rain-abbreviated start his last time out that saw him surrender a run and two hits in three innings. He was still charged with the loss and is 10-14 with a 5.05 ERA.
Burnett lost to the Jays on August 2 and is 2-3 with a 4.79 ERA in seven starts against them. In three starts against his former team this year, Burnett is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA.
Toronto, meanwhile, continued to dominate the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, taking all three games in their series and extending their home winning streak over them to 14.
John McDonald drove in three runs to back seven strong innings from Shaun Marcum on Sunday as Toronto completed the sweep with a 5-2 win. Adam Lind went 3-for-4 with a run scored and John Buck was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored twice for the Blue Jays, who took the season series, 15-3.
Toronto failed to hit a home run in the win and is still three homers shy of matching its single-season club record of 244, set in 2000.
Marcum (13-8) yielded a lone unearned run on four hits and two walks while fanning seven.
"I was glad we were able to back up Shaun the way he pitched and finish off Baltimore the way we did," McDonald said. "It was just nice to be able to contribute."
Heading to the hill for the Blue Jays tonight will be lefty Marc Rzepczynski, who is 2-4 with a 5.75 ERA. Rzepczynski defeated the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, holding them to a pair of runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 frames.
However, he is 0-2 in four starts against the Yankees with a 10.47 ERA.
The Blue Jays have won eight of their 15 meetings with the Yankees this season.