TORONTO - Ricky Romero doesn't have much to show for his improved pitching.
Despite allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits over seven innings on Friday, Romero lost his eighth consecutive decision as the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-4.
"I felt great," Romero (8-9) said. "Felt like I finished strong. I got back to the delivery I’ve been looking for."
Yankees right-hander Freddy Garcia (6-5) allowed two runs over six innings and Ichiro Suzuki, starting in centre field for the first time since 2008, drove in five runs.
"It had been a while so I was a little nervous but there were no tough balls at me today," Ichiro said. "Everything went well."
Ichiro, who was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on July 23, has been a right fielder for most of his career but also has played left since joining the Yankees.
He was back in right in the eighth inning after Granderson checked into the game to play center.
Garcia held the Blue Jays to five hits and no walks while striking out four on only 78 pitches. His pitching and Ichiro's hitting helped the Yankees (66-46) improve their win streak to three while the Blue Jays (53-59) have lost four in a row.
"It sucks that we lost," Romero said. "It’s not easy what we’re going through right now, I hate losing and I know the guys in this clubhouse do too."
"I thought Ricky got better as the night went along," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It seemed the rhythm of his fastball was much better, threw some good curveballs to mix in as well as well as a cutter."
Kelly Johnson drove in two runs for the Blue Jays with a homer and a double.
Mark Teixeira hit his 22nd homer of the season on the first pitch of the eighth inning to start a three-run inning by the Yankees that extended their lead to 6-2. They added four runs in the ninth against the injury-depleted Blue Jays who came up with a run in the ninth.
"It’s weird, I’ve never seen anything like it," Romero said of the Blue Jays’ injury list. "I’ve never seen so many players go in and out of this clubhouse. We’ve battled with what we have and we’re not going to give up."
The Yankees scored twice in the second as Romero continually fell behind in the count.
Johnson got one back for Toronto with his 13th homer of the season in the bottom of the second.
The Yankees scored again in the third. Nick Swisher led off with a single, took second on a groundout and scored on Cano’s single.
The Blue Jays put together three hits in a row with one out in the fourth but only scored once when Johnson’s double sent home Yunel Escobar.
Romero settled down and retired 14 of 16 batters after Cano’s RBI single with one out in the third.
Romero said he's been working with pitching coach Bruce Walton to improve the effectiveness of his fastball.
"That’s one of the things I wanted to get back to doing was challenge the hitters with my heater," Romero said. "I felt like at times before I got away from it and tried to trick guys a little too much. But I know my heater is pretty good enough to get guys out, I proved that again today."
Garcia retired his final eight batters after Johnson’s RBI double before left-hander Boone Logan replaced him to start the seventh. Logan retired his only two batters before Joba Chamberlain took over to finish the inning.
After Teixeira’s homer led off the eighth, the Yankees got two-out singles from Nix, Martin and Ichiro to produce two more runs.
Anthony Gose started the bottom of the eighth with a single against Chamberlain, then stole second and third after David Robertson took over on the mound. Gose scored when Colby Rasmus grounded into a double play. Rasmus then came out of the game with groin troubles.
The Yankees tacked on four in the ninth. Jeter singled and came home on Swisher’s double against right-hander David Carpenter who made his Blue Jays debut. A few batters later, Brad Lincoln came in an allowed a two-run double by Ichiro that Davis played poorly in left as he lost the ball in the lights.
The Blue Jays scored a run in the bottom of the ninth on a single by Mathis against Cody Eppley. Clay Rapada had allowed hits to Cooper and Yan Gomes before leaving.
Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 41,610. ...Carpenter was promoted from triple-A Las Vegas as a roster replacement for third-baseman Brett Lawrie (strained right oblique muscle) of Langley. B.C. who went on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. Carpenter, who was obtained in the July 20 trade with Houston, was 0-1 with a 1.93 earned-run average with Las Vegas. ...After the game he was returned to Las Vegas and infielder Mike McCoy was recalled. ...Right-hander Juan Abreu was claimed off waivers from Houston on Friday and assigned to triple-A Las Vegas. Right-hander Scott Richmond of North Vancouver was designated for assignment to make room for Abreu on the 40-man roster. …Left-hander Aaron Laffey (3-2, 4.39 ERA) will start Saturday for Toronto against right-hander Ivan Nova (10-6, 4.81 ERA).