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McCann, Yankees club Blue Jays

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[June 19, 2014]  NEW YORK -- Hours after Spain was eliminated from the World Cup, a Spanish soccer jersey hung inside Brian McCann's locker, and teammate Brett Gardner jokingly said, "Ask him about that."

Nobody did.

Instead, McCann was able to discuss his most productive night as a New York Yankee.

The catcher tied a career high with five RBIs by hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning and a bases-clearing triple in the seventh as the Yankees extended their home winning streak over the Toronto Blue Jays to 15 games with a 7-3 victory Wednesday.

"Tonight was a good night," McCann said. "It was about time I chipped in, and tonight was a good night to do that."

New York manager Joe Girardi said, "We really believe in him as an offensive force, and he showed it tonight."

McCann had no had more than three RBIs in his first 63 games as a Yankee, and he took a 4-for-30 slump into Wednesday. He wound up with his sixth five-RBI game and his first since July 18, 2010, at Milwaukee for the Atlanta Braves.

"We'd all like to have a type of game like he had tonight," said Gardner, the Yankees left fielder who went 4-for-5.

McCann's first two RBIs put the Yankees ahead for good against Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle (10-4). McCann fouled off four consecutive pitches before he ended a 10-pitch at-bat by lining a 2-2 curveball over the right field wall.

After hitting his eighth home run and first in 74 at-bats since May 23, the catcher hit a sinking liner against lefty reliever Brett Cecil that center fielder Colby Rasmus could not get to in time. That turned into his third career triple and first since June 6, 2009.

"Just the fact that I wasn't really contributing, it was on my mind more than that," McCann said. "I've been grinding in the cage, working, and a couple of things felt good the last game and I was able to carry it into tonight."

McCann and Gardner were not the only Yankees to contribute on a night when the team had 11 hits and won for the sixth time in eight games. Right fielder Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI single, and Ichiro Suzuki preceded McCann's triple with a pinch-hit, bases-loaded walk.

"Unbelievable," New York starter Chase Whitley said. "You expect that from him. He's a great player."

Whitley (3-0) won his third consecutive start by allowing two runs and five hits in five innings. He threw a career-high 95 pitches before four New York relievers combined to close out the win.

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Toronto catcher Dioner Navarro and center fielder Colby Rasmus hit RBI singles off Whitley, and right fielder Jose Bautista added an RBI double for the Blue Jays, who lost for the eighth time in 11 games. Toronto also lost third baseman Brett Lawrie to a left hand injury after he was hit by a pitch. Lawrie is listed as day-to-day.

Buehrle dropped his ninth straight decision to the Yankees and third in a row overall, allowing three runs (two earned) and six hits in six innings.

"I feel like overall, I pitched pretty good," Buehrle said. "I gave up a flyball to right field that's a two-run homer and we lose the game. Same thing as yesterday -- a little 318-foot flyball that ends up going out. It's frustrating when you come out and battle, tonight and last night, and pretty much it's two losses on that short porch in right field."

NOTES: New York LHP CC Sabathia threw his second bullpen session before the game and reported no difficulties. Sabathia, out since May 11 with an inflamed right knee, is scheduled to throw another bullpen session, although there is no set timetable for his return. ... Toronto 1B/DH Adam Lind was held out of the lineup for the third consecutive game with a bruised right foot. The disabled list is not a consideration just yet for Lind, who spent three weeks there earlier this season due to a back injury. ... According to the Blue Jays, Tuesday marked the 12th time a Toronto hitter has hit a home run on the first pitch of a game. SS Jose Reyes, OFs Devon White and Alex Rios are the only players to do it multiple times since pitch counts began getting recorded in 1988. ... Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi talked about tobacco usage in the wake of Tony Gwynn's death on Monday from oral cancer. "I think you express concerns with all the health things that guys put in their mouth, the repetition and how often they're doing it," he said. "These are grown men and I have to be careful about what I talk about and what I don't talk about, in a sense. I did talk to my son about (it) and encouraged him to never do it because it is dangerous."

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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