Blue Jays change routine to break Yankee Stadium jinx

Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) is greeted
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Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) is greeted by catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, July 27, 2014.(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

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The Blue Jays felt they had to do something.

While certainly not a playoff-caliber team the last couple of years, the law of averages suggested there was no way they could lose 17 straight at Yankee Stadium.

But they did, with that ignominious streak finally ending Saturday afternoon with a 6-4 victory over the Yankees, Toronto's first victory here since Aug. 29, 2012.

"We've changed our routine here," said designated hitter Dan Johnson, who snapped a 2-2 tie with a well-spun infield single in the seventh, then opened things up in the ninth with a three-run homer off Jeff Francis. "We've tried everything to try and change the feeling, the mojo here. Obviously, things worked out today."

Something had to change for the Blue Jays (55-50), who led the AL East by six games as late as June 6 but currently are tied with the Yankees (54-49) for second behind the Orioles.

"We're in the thick of a race right now. You don't want any team to get out in front of you," Johnson said. "When you have a monkey on your back, losing 17 straight, it's good to get that feeling of, 'OK, we can do it.' That can turn the momentum and you can really build off of that."

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Texas return for Tex?

Mark Teixeira, who has missed six straight games, will test his lat strain Sunday by doing some tee and toss drills, manager Joe Girardi said. If things go well, the first baseman is likely to accompany the team to Dallas Sunday night for the start of a six-game trip. If not, the disabled list is Teixeira's likely destination.

"I think we'll have a pretty good idea, if he's able to do tee and toss tomorrow, what we're going to be able to do with him," Girardi said.

 

Hall of a mentor or two

Girardi played for two of the managers to be inducted this weekend into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown: Joe Torre (1996-99 with the Yankees) and Tony La Russa (part of 2003 with the Cardinals). Bobby Cox will be inducted as well.

"I've always tried to keep an even demeanor, and I had that as a player, but I saw the importance of it from Joe as a manager, how important it is to keep that even demeanor," Girardi said. "You have to be the same guy every day. When I looked at Tony La Russa, just the preparation that he did and watching him. There's a lot to learn from all these guys, Bobby Cox as well."

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