Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

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Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

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Article excerpt

TORONTO - Carlos Beltran had two strikes against him and a screaming, sellout crowd at Rogers Centre rooting against him as well - a vocal group as loud as anything this ballpark has heard in years.

It took just one swing to deflate all that sound and fury.

Pinch-hitting in the eighth inning, Beltran's three-run homer off reliever Aaron Sanchez carried the Yankees to an electric, 4-3 victory against the Blue Jays - a win that vaulted the Yankees back into first place Friday night by a half-game over Toronto.

But to finally end the Blue Jays' 11-game winning streak, Yankees closer Andrew Miller had to battle Troy Tulowtizki through a tense, 12-pitch at-bat with the tying run at third base and the winning run on second.

With Toronto just a hit away from a walk-off victory, the standing crowd of 46,689 fans had found its voice again - and then some.

"The fans are insane now, and rightfully so," said Miller, who finally threw another slider past a swinging Tulowitzki to end the game. By then, the lefty closer was nearly out of gas. "That's all I've got."

Earlier in the week at Cleveland, Miller blew his first save of the year in a 16-inning Yankees loss. He gave up a run in saving Thursday's 8-6 win against the Indians, ending a five-game Yankee losing streak.

On Friday, Miller yielded a walk, a ground single and a wild pitch with one out. But after Ben Revere struck out with the infield in, up stepped Tulowitzki, who was acquired at the trade deadline in one of Toronto's impact deals. The righty hitter hung in with foul ball after foul ball.

"A great battle," said manager Joe Girardi, who thought to himself: "Just hit one of those ground balls to someone."

The crowd booed heavily as catcher Brian McCann twice went out to talk to his pitcher.

"[We] stuck with the slider," said Miller, who used multiple arm angles during the grueling at-bat. "It was the right move."

After blanking the Yanks through seven innings for the second straight start, lefty David Price - the ace imported at the trade deadline -- was finally knocked from the game after 112 pitches.

In his third start since arriving via trade from Detroit, Price took a 3-0 lead into the eighth inning. …

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