Vazquez roughed up by Blue Jays

Vazquez roughed up by Blue Jays

TORONTO -- If this was Javier Vazquez's audition for a postseason role, it did not go well.

If he gets a callback after the Blue Jays won, 8-4, before 33,143 on Wednesday at Rogers Centre, on the night their retiring manager Cito Gaston was honored in a pregame, the Yankees could be in postseason trouble.

Vazquez put the Yankees in a 7-0 hole after his 4 2/3 innings. Starting in place of Andy Pettitte, who was bumped to Friday in Boston after the Yankees clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night, Vazquez (10-10) was hammered for seven runs and 10 hits, including three home runs.

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez led off the sixth against Brett Cecil (15-7) with his 30th homer of the season. That was one bright spot for the Yankees.

It is the 14th season in his Major League career in which Rodriguez has had at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs, which extends his record. It is the 13th consecutive season in which Rodriguez has hit 30 homers, equaling Barry Bonds.

A hit batter, a one-out walk, and singles by Francisco Cervelli and Greg Golson scored two more runs to end Cecil's start. A double play ended the rally with the bases loaded.

The Yankees didn't score again until the ninth, but they only scored once before Kevin Gregg finished off the game for the Blue Jays.

While it was a happy final home game as Blue Jays manager for Gaston, it was a missed opportunity for the Yankees, because the Tampa Bay Rays also lost and remain one-half game ahead in the American League East.

The Yankees clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night but still have aspirations of winning the AL East and having the best record in the AL.

"We had an opportunity to gain a game on them and we didn't do it," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's a missed opportunity, it is."

Girardi was asked if it becomes difficult for Vazquez to make the postseason roster.

"No," he said. "We'll have a lot of discussions over the next few days. We'll try to get him an inning out of the bullpen, maybe on Sunday. But there's a lot of things we've got to discuss."

"I had nothing," Vazquez said. "My pitches weren't sharp at all today."

Vazquez said he has no feeling about his status for a postseason spot.

"I don't know what decision they're going to make, we'll see what happens," he said. "I don't know. I wish I knew. The way I pitched today, it didn't help. Today was an important day for me personally and I didn't do well.

"So we'll see what happens, I wish I knew the answer. I just didn't get it done."

"We need help," shortstop Derek Jeter said. "You can get all the help in the world, but it doesn't make any difference if you don't win your games."

The Yankees will try to have a strong final weekend of the season in Boston against the Red Sox. Andy Pettitte will start Friday and A.J. Burnett, who has been struggling, will get the nod on Saturday, with the starter not announced for Sunday.

"I've been on teams that scuffled the last week of the season and won," Jeter said, "and on teams that have been hot the last week of the season, and I think it's just a matter if you're hot when the playoffs start.

"It doesn't always work with how you play the last week of the season, but you want to be playing well. I don't really think you can explain it. You still want to be playing well."

Travis Snider hit his 13th homer of the season on Vazquez's fourth pitch of the game, a 1-2 changeup. It was the 245th homer of the season for the Blue Jays, a club record. They hit 244 in 2000.

John Buck added to that total with his 20th homer of the season on a 3-2 fastball with two out in the second. John McDonald followed with a double off Rodriguez's glove at third. McDonald took third on a wild pitch and scored on Snider's single.

The Blue Jays took a 4-0 lead in the fourth on McDonald's fielder's choice, which scored Aaron Hill, who led off with a walk and took third on Adam Lind's single that went behind Jeter, who was covering second with the runner going on the 3-2 pitch.

Hill stayed at third on Buck's line drive off Vazquez, who retrieved the ball to get the force at second. Vazquez stayed in the game after a trainer and Girardi checked him out.

Hill's three-run homer with two out in the fifth ended Vazquez's night.

Hill drove in his fourth run of the game with a single against Joba Chamberlain in the seventh after Vernon Wells reached on Rodriguez's error, took second on a wild pitch and stole third.

The Yankees might have done better in the three-run sixth, but Nick Swisher ended the rally by hitting a double-play grounder to second with the bases loaded against Jason Frasor.

"You feel like you're going to get right back in the game," Girardi said. "Swish hit it right on the barrel of the bat. He just hit it right at the second baseman."

It was just another missed opportunity for the Yankees, a recurring theme for them on the night that was one of celebration for the home team.

Larry Millson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.