TORONTO - Things are slowly getting better for Chan Ho Park, who has been among the most maligned of the Yankees' relievers.
Park, who had struggled since coming off the disabled list May 17, contributed a second straight good outing yesterday. He shut out the Blue Jays in the 12th and 13th innings, allowing a hit and walking two. He struck out three, the same number he recorded against the Indians on Memorial Day, when he allowed one run in two innings.
"He's definitely back on track," Joe Girardi said. "We're seeing some good things."
Park struck out three Blue Jays in a row - Adam Lind, Vernon Wells and Jose Bautista, all swinging - in the 12th and 13th. He then allowed a single by Alex Gonzalez and walked Lyle Overbay, who had three hits, but got out of the 13th by inducing a groundout by John Buck.
Park said his fastball was better against Cleveland, with his slider serving as his best pitch against the Blue Jays.
"My stuff's been better," Park said. "I'm just trying to focus on my plan , and that gives me confidence."
The Yankees struck out 16 Blue Jays, but Wells and Gonzalez homered to give Toronto 96 homers in 57 games.
Thames a late scratch
Outfielder Marcus Thames, scheduled to start in leftfield, was scratched from the lineup with a stiff neck. He was replaced by Kevin Russo.
Posada closer to catching
Regarding Jorge Posada, who has been the DH since returning from a hairline fracture in his right foot, Girardi said, "We're hoping maybe at some point [this] week he can start doing some catching stuff." He primarily meant catching in the bullpen and throwing to bases. Girardi is concerned about the stress put on the feet in the crouch. "You probably want to see that a couple days to see how it responds," he said.
Aceves not throwing
Girardi said Alfredo Aceves, on the DL with a bulging disc, is still doing stabilization exercises. "He is not throwing yet," he said. "He's conditioning and that's about it. I don't have an exact timetable on him when he'll start to play catch again."