TORONTO -- It was probably inevitable that the Yankees were not getting out of Canada with three wins over the revamped Blue Jays. And if they were going to lose one here, this would be the one, with the erratic Ivan Nova starting and the bullpen, which has looked so good recently, due to meltdown. Sure enough, Nova was lousy and the bullpen, notably David Phelps, was worse as the Jays salvaged the final game of the series, 8-4.
What it means: That the Blue Jays are not as bad as they looked all weekend, which for the first two games of this series was pretty bad. Yes, they got help from some atrocious Yankees pitching but still, there's some pop in this lineup and it finally showed up today. Still, the Yankees leave here looking like the better team.
Fuel to the fire: Nova did not pitch well -- five-plus innings, seven hits, four runs -- but got no help from his manager or his bullpen today. Joe Girardi sent him out for the sixth and after he walked Adam Lind and gave up a ringing double to J.P. Arencibia, Nova got no relief from Boone Logan (RBI single to Colby Rasmus) or David Phelps (two-run double by Brett Lawrie, RBI single by Melky Cabrera) in the Jays' four-run inning.
Laser beam: Arencibia's home run to dead center off Phelps in the seventh was out of the yard and into the second deck practically before Arencibia could get out of the batter's box. With Adam Lind aboard, it gave the Jays an 8-4 lead.
Walkover: Jays starter Josh Johnson was one strike away from getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, then threw seven straight balls to walk Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez, forcing in two runs and turning a 2-1 Toronto lead to a 3-2 Yankees lead. Luckily for Johnson, and inexplicably, Ichiro Suzuki swung at the first pitch and bounced out to end the inning.
Fan Favourite: The fans here have been killing Vernon Wells verbally all weekend, and in return, he has killed them at the plate (seven hits in three games, including home runs Friday and Saturday) and in the field (a spectacular catch at the left field fence on Edwin Encarnacion's drive that ended in a 7-4-3 double play). Wells was the target of three leather-lunged fans before the game who jokingly demanded that he share some of his $21 million paycheck with Lyle Overbay, a former Blue Jays teammate and now a fellow Yankee. "He's not my friend," a laughing Wells shouted back.
Beefy Stew: Chris Stewart had not hit a home run since last July 28, but he smacked one high off the left field foul screen in the third inning off Johnson to give the Yankees their first run of the game. Stewart also singled in the fifth, and his sacrifice bunt in the sixth set up the Yankees fourth run of the game. He's hitting .3745, which is not bad for a defensive catcher.
What's coming: A column wrapping up our weekend in the Great White North, plus postgame notes from what is sure to be a quiet clubhouse.