Raul Ibanez hit his 10th career grand slam in the eighth inning Monday night to lift the New York Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the eighth. Alex Rodriguez led off the eighth with a single off Aaron Loup (0-1). He took second base on a passed ball and eventually made his way to third thanks to a Robinson Cano infield single.
Jason Frasor took over for Loup, but promptly hit Mark Teixera with a pitch to load the bases. After striking out Nick Swisher, he gave up the grand slam to Ibanez to put the Yankees ahead for good.
Here is Ibanez after the game:
Phil Hughes pitched seven innings for the Yankees. He gave up just four hits and two earned runs while walking three and striking out four. His solid night was marred in the fourth inning after an Adam Lind solo home run gave the Blue Jays new life. Edwin Encarnacion scored Jose Bautista on a sixth-inning double to tie the game at two runs apiece until Ibanez broke the standstill.
The Yankees took the early lead after Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez got off to a shaky start. Alvarez gave up a home run to Russell Martin in the second inning and an RBI double to Cano in the third to spot the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Martin's home run, his ninth of the season, came off a 3-2 pitch with two outs and no men on in the inning. Cano's double extended his hitting streak to 19 games.
Alvarez settled down from there to finish his six innings with just two earned runs against off five hits and four walks.
David Robertson (1-3) was given the win after giving up no hits, no runs and one walk in relief of Hughes during the eighth inning. Rafael Soriano came in for the last two outs of the ninth inning to earn his 23rd save of the season.
Game 2 of the series is set for 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday. CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.45 ERA) will return from the disabled list to take on the Blue Jays' Brett Cecil (2-1, 6.75).
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