Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Grand-Standing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Grand-Standing

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Despite striking out for a second time Monday night with the bases loaded, Nick Swisher would be credited with a valuable assist.

"That was a great at-bat," Raul Ibanez said of a lengthy eighth- inning plate appearance that ended with Swisher looking at a full- count breaking ball by Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor. "That definitely helped."

Locked in a tie game with two out, Ibanez drew the count to 3-1 before he received the pitch he wanted from Frasor- a 93-mph fastball over the plate.

Ibanez's 10th career grand slam sailed into the second deck in right at Yankee Stadium and lifted the Yankees to a 6-3 victory before 42,819 raucous fans.

And still, Toronto (45-45) might have lost more than just a game in the AL East standings to the first-place Yankees (55-34) as All- Star slugger Jose Bautista exited in the eighth with a left wrist injury.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that Bautista felt "a little bit of a popping sensation" as he ripped a monstrous foul ball to left against David Robertson. X-rays were negative, but an MRI will determine if Bautista suffered ligament damage from the tremendous torque of his swing.

By contrast, Ibanez was hardly looking to crush one 400 feet in such a critical spot.

"Bases loaded, two out, there's no advantage really to hitting a ball in the air," said Ibanez, who had just eight RBI since May 29 prior to the slam. "You're just trying to hit a line drive somewhere."

Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, one-out singles by Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano got the Yanks going against lefty reliever Aaron Loup (0-1).

Enter the right-handed Frasor, who hit Mark Teixeira's right foot with a fastball before retiring Swisher - using a combined 13 pitches. That was enough for Ibanez to see Frasor's entire arsenal on a hot and humid night.

Plus, Farrell knew the Yanks had the advantage since he couldn't use Darren Oliver (who pitched two innings Sunday) for a lefty- lefty matchup. …

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