The Yankees turned to Bartolo Colon on Wednesday night to make a spot start in Toronto in place of the ailing Phil Hughes and hoped that the old dog remembered all his tricks. He surprised everyone, including himself, earning his first win in almost two years, after sitting out the entire 2010 season.
The veteran righty made it through 6 2/3 innings and struck out seven in allowing two earned runs and five hits in the 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays. From the start of the game, you could sense the urgency with which Colon pitched. This was a big opportunity for the 37-year-old, and he knew it.
After surrendering a lead-off homer to J. P. Arencibia in the second, Colon settled in and retired 12 straight. The Blue Jays helped with some bad baserunning but overall Colon owned the night.
Although the 2005 Cy Young award winner had a very strong spring, Joe Girardi chose Freddy Garcia to fill out the rotation. When Hughes proved ineffective, Colon got his shot at a comeback.
The win salvaged a split with the Jays, who came back against the Yankees bullpen on Tuesday to win in the 10th against Mariano Rivera and Ivan Nova. It was Rivera’s first blown save of the year and his first two earned runs allowed. Nova replaced him and endured the loss.
The Yankees sit atop the AL East, two games ahead of Tampa Bay and 2.5 in front of their next opponent, the Orioles. After a three-game trip to Baltimore, the Bombers host the White Sox in a four-game set.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits