NEW YORK -- David Phelps put his pitches in all the right places against a struggling team that was stuck in the wrong s
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NEW YORK -- David Phelps put his pitches in all the right places against a struggling team that was stuck in the wrong s
NEW YORK -- David Phelps put his pitches in all the right places against a struggling team that was stuck in the wrong spot. Phelps threw seven strong innings, Carlos Beltran drove in two runs and the New York Yankees beat Toronto 6-4 Thursday night for their 16th consecutive home win over the Blue Jays. "Everything was a little bit crisper today," Phelps said. "I was able to be aggressive the entire game." Jacoby Ellsbury stole two bases, scored twice and hit one of three early sacrifice flies for the Yankees off Drew Hutchison. New York swiped four bags in all and scratched out its fifth run when Brett Gardner was going as Derek Jeter hit an RBI groundout -- preventing an inning-ending double play. Phelps (3-4) yielded two runs and struck out seven in winning his second straight outing after a four-start skid. The Yankees earned their first three-game sweep at home this season and sliced Torontos lead in the AL East to 1 1/2 games. "Big series for us," reliever Adam Warren said after New York won for the seventh time in nine games. "Its nice to kind of see our team click a little bit and play some good baseball." Citing research by the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees said the winning streak against Toronto is their longest at home against one team since a 19-game run vs. Cleveland from June 1960 to April 1962. Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion each hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who have lost nine of 12 and were swept for the first time since Sept. 10-12 last season by the Los Angeles Angels. Toronto has dropped 25 of 27 at Yankee Stadium dating to 2011 and hasnt won in the Bronx since Aug. 29, 2012. "Hey, if youre going to play in prime time, youve got to perform on the big stage and we didnt do it," manager John Gibbons said. "Were fully capable of doing it. We just didnt do it. Itll be definitely good to move on." With closer David Robertson receiving a rest, Warren got two outs for his second save -- ending a rhythm-less game that took 3 hours, 47 minutes. Gibbons was on the field five times in the first six innings for four discussions with the umpires, plus a pitching change. Phelps equaled his career high with 115 pitches and finished strong. He retired pinch-hitter Adam Lind with two on to end the sixth and then struck out two in a perfect seventh. "We really pushed him tonight," manager Joe Girardi said. "He did a great job." The right-hander was fired up, too, clenching his fist and yelling after freezing Jose Reyes for strike three with his final delivery. Phelps made a key defensive play to protect a one-run lead in the fifth. He got Reyes on a soft grounder with the infield in, pinning a runner at third, and then knocked down Cabreras two-out comebacker. Phelps whirled around and scrambled to find the ball near the front of the mound, then zipped a throw to first just in time. "I knew that it went down. I knew it wasnt going to be far away, I just had to get my eyes on it," Phelps said. "Straight scramble mode as soon as it hit me." Cabrera tripped awkwardly over the bag and tumbled hard to the turf, but appeared to be fine. Phelps also picked off Cabrera at second base with two runners on in the first inning and Encarnacion at the plate. Phelps and Girardi both called it the biggest play of the game. "The way our teams been playing right now, its exciting baseball," Phelps said. Encarnacion hit his 21st homer in the eighth, a long drive to left off Shawn Kelley that cut it to 6-4. Yankees hitters ran up Hutchisons pitch count early, just as they did against fellow youngster Marcus Stroman in the series opener. Kelly Johnson had a sacrifice fly in the second and Beltran added one in the third. Making his Yankee Stadium debut, Hutchison (5-5) threw 38 pitches in the second inning and needed 76 to get through three. He was pulled in the fifth trailing 3-2. "Youve got to make better pitches," Hutchison said. "When I got ahead I didnt make good pitches to put them away, and I fell behind quite a bit, too." Beltran hit an RBI double off Aaron Loup, and Brian Roberts stole two bases in the sixth before scoring on Jeters groundout. Steve Delabar walked three in the seventh, including Yangervis Solarte with the bases loaded to make it 6-2. NOTES: Toronto has seven more games scheduled at Yankee Stadium this year. The Blue Jays return on July 25. ... Lind had been sidelined since leaving Saturdays game in Baltimore with a bruised right foot. ... Lights-out Yankees reliever Dellin Betances was unavailable after pitching three scoreless innings in the first two games of the series, Girardi said. ... Johnson was shaken up and removed after the ball hit his left hand when he fouled off a bunt in the sixth. Solarte pinch-hit with a full count and struck out. X-rays on Johnson were negative and he is day to day with bruised fingers. 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The English Football Association had charged the German right back with violent conduct after retrospectively reviewing video evidence of an incident that was missed by match officials at Craven Cottage on Saturday.VERNON, B.C. -- Chase Norrish didnt want his season, or his junior hockey career, to end one game short of the Canadian Junior A Championship game. Norrish scored the winning goal and added a key assist as the Yorkton Terriers doubled the host Vernon Vipers 6-3 in a semifinal contest at the RBC Cup Saturday. The Saskatchewan representatives will meet Ontarios Carleton Place Canadians -- who advanced with an upset comeback 4-3 win over the Dauphin Kings later Saturday -- in the final Sunday. Both Yorkton and Carleton Place are seeking their first Canadian championship. "It means quite a lot to the guys, I guess, going to the last game that you can possibly play this season," said Norrish. Norris, a 21-year-old Strongfield, Sask., native, will see his junior eligibility expire Sunday before he heads off to play U.S. college hockey next season at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Its a great feeling," said Norrish of his goal and his assist on the goal that put Yorkton ahead to stay. "I just go out and play hockey. a A lot of hard work went into this team, and its a great feeling to get to the next step." Norrish scored at 11:39 of the second period, giving the Terriers a 4-2 lead before Yorkton scored two empty-netters in the final two minutes of the game, to ensure their third straight win after starting the tournament 0-2. "We dont like to be put in a spot where were going to be eliminated," said Norrish. "It kind of sticks in some guys." Daylan Gatzke led Yorkton with two goals, with one going into an empty net, as the Terriers thwarted Vernons attempt at a desperate rally. Tanner Lishchynsky, Dylan Johnson and Tayler Thompson, into an empty net, also scored for Yorkton. Goaltender Kale Thomson made 34 saves. Brett Mulcahy, Michael McNicholas and Dexter Dancs replied for the Vipers, who enjoyed a 37-31 edge in shots. The Terriers scored on one of five power plays while the Vipers converted on two of six. Vernon overcame an early 2-0 deficit to create a 2-2 tie early in the second period. But Yorktons defence remained tight while killing a pair of penalties, including a Vernon two-man advantage for 26 seconds, in the third. "Right now, its deflating and a pretty emotional group in (the dressing room), because they have a loot of pride and they wanted to bring a seventh national title to the town of Vernon," said Vipers coach Jason Williamson. Johnson put the Terriers ahead 3-2 at 8:57 of the second period as he deflected in Norrishs wrist shot. Vernon goalttender Austin Smith, who was replaced by Danny Todosychuk after Norrishs goal, allowed four goals on 16 shots.dddddddddddd The goaltending change had an effect on the Vipers as Dancs scored during a scramble only 59 seconds later. "We played great when we were desperate, and obviously, we didnt want to go down two goals," said Dancs. "But it happened and we fought back to make it 2-2, and (the win) didnt come for us." Later, Dylan Gareaus goal on a one-timer at 10:43 of the third period gave Carleton Place the win as the fourth-place Canadians upset first-place Dauphin. The upset shocked Carleton Place coach Jason Clarke, who says he never envisioned that his team would reach the Canadian final when the season began nine months ago. "We didnt play a very good game for the first 40 minutes, and in the third period, we really showed what kind of hockey club we can be," he said. The Ottawa-area victors outshot Dauphin 16-2 in the final frame. But after taking a 1-0 lead, the Canadians had to overcome 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to forge a 3-3 tie. "The guys played great," said Carleton Place goaltender Guillaume Therien. "I struggled in the first, for sure. But I give credit to the guys, for sure, in the third. Two shots on goal in the third? What else can I ask for?" Anthony McVeigh led the Canadians with two goals, with the second going into an empty net in the final minute. Carleton Place got other goals from Luke Richards and Andy Sturtz, who also assisted on the winning goal. "We knew Dauphin was a strong team," said Sturtz. "Their goaltender (Michael Stiliadis) had an unbelievable tournament. He had a good game again today." Dylan Butler, Tanner Butler and Brayden Cuthbert scored for Dauphin. "I thought the first two periods, we played well enough to win," said Kings coach Marlin Murray. "The third period, we had a rough one. We were on our heels the whole time." The Canadians will attempt to beat Yorkton for a second time in the tournament. Carleton Place qualified for the playoff portion of the RBC Cup by beating the Terriers in the final round-robin game. Notes: Norrishs twin brother Brady also plays defence for Yorkton and will head to RIT with his sibling next season. a The Vipers last won the RBC Cup in 2010, when they earned the second of back-to-back titles. a Yorkton forward Derek Falloon is a cousin of former NHLer Pat Falloon, who was drafted second overall by the San Jose Sharks in 1991 behind Eric Lindros. 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