Johnson has a tough time vs. Jays

Johnson has a tough time vs. Jays

TORONTO -- This time, Randy Johnson didn't leave his start because of fatigue. He left on Tuesday night because he couldn't get the Blue Jays out.

The Yankees couldn't overcome the left-hander's poor outing, falling to the Blue Jays, 10-5, in front of 48,776 at Rogers Centre.

Johnson, who pitched just five innings in his last outing before "hitting a wall," allowed seven runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings, as the Yankees lost for the third time in the last four games.

"It was just bad everything," Johnson said. "It was just one of those games where you take it on the chin."

Both Johnson and manager Joe Torre insisted after the game that there was nothing physically wrong with the left-hander, despite the fact that he has pitched fewer than nine innings in his last two starts combined.

"As long as he feels fine, I'll take my chances," Torre said. "He's honest with us. Last time, he told us he was tired. Tonight he had no complaints. He's not going to try to fool anybody, especially when his health is an issue."

Gustavo Chacin, who went 0-4 against New York last season, overcame a rocky first inning to win his third game of the year, giving up five runs over six innings.

The Yankees jumped out to a quick lead, hammering Chacin for four runs in the first inning. Three of those came off the bats of Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi, who belted back-to-back home runs to right-center field.

"I felt pretty good at 3-0," Torre said, referring to the score following A-Rod's homer. "At 4-0, it was even better."

Johnson, who was able to follow his normal routine between starts after leaving his last outing early, had a great warmup in the bullpen before the game, giving the Yankees the expectation that he would rebound with a strong performance.

"I was expecting lights-out," said catcher Kelly Stinnett. "Typical Randy, going out there and pitching his game."

But Johnson couldn't protect the lead, giving back three runs in the bottom of the first, when Troy Glaus blasted the first of his two homers in the game.

"I was disappointed," Johnson said. "When the team goes out and gives you a four-run lead and you give the majority of those runs back, it hurts."

Toronto scored three more times in the second, two of the runs coming on Alex Rios' fifth homer of the season. The Jays added another run in the third, giving them a 7-4 lead.

"I talked to him after the second and asked if he felt all right, and he said he felt fine," Torre said. "He just didn't locate, and it looked like he couldn't put people away with the slider like he normally can."

"He made a couple of mistakes and we were able to take advantage," Glaus said. "If we pop those balls up, it's a different ballgame. Fortunately for us today, we were able to put good swings on [them]."

Johnson left the game with one out in the fourth after issuing his second walk of the night, marking his shortest outing in four starts this season.

"He started trying to force it a little bit and it didn't get any better," Torre said. "It didn't look like he was getting any more comfortable, so I went and got him."

Scott Proctor relieved Johnson and retired the first five batters he faced, but the Yankees couldn't climb out of the hole they dug for themselves, as Chacin got over his first-inning woes, limiting the next 21 New York hitters to just three hits.

The Yankees cut the lead to 8-5 in the seventh on Derek Jeter's RBI double, but the Jays answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame against Shawn Chacon, one on Glaus' second homer of the night.

"They looked all-world today, but it's a long season," Rodriguez said of Toronto. "You don't want to judge a team on its best day, and you don't want to judge a team on its worst day. They have certainly made some very good improvements. Our league is going to have to watch out for the Blue Jays."

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.