|GREGG ZAUN Extra effort|
Yankees' push hits speed bump
Zaun homer lifts Blue Jays in 14th
NEW YORK - After an improbable rally against Roy Halladay, the New York Yankees had a chance to complete one of those signature comebacks they're famous for.
Then, Gregg Zaun halted New York's playoff charge with one sudden swing.
Zaun homered in the 14th inning last night and the Toronto Blue Jays regrouped for a 5-4 victory over the Yankees after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth.
"I was proud of how we bounced back in the ninth inning. It's just disappointing how it ended," New York manager Joe Torre said.
Alex Rios hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who won their fourth straight and dropped the Yankees 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East. New York's wild-card lead was trimmed to 4 1/2 games over Detroit.
Halladay outlasted Chien-Ming Wang in a fast-moving matchup of elite starters, but the Yankees took advantage of a key error by second baseman Aaron Hill to tie it in the ninth.
"Pretty amazing against Doc," Jason Giambi said, calling Halladay by his nickname. "He pretty much was dealing that whole game."
Coming off a three-game sweep of Boston, the Blue Jays played spoiler against New York this time. The Yankees, who had won four in a row, lost for only the third time in 15 games.
In one day, New York also scratched two starters for today.
First, rookie Ian Kennedy was passed over after he felt tightness in his back during a bullpen session this week. Roger Clemens was going to be bumped up one day to pitch in Kennedy's place, but then he was pushed back because his left hamstring is bothering him.
"We're just taking the safe route and giving him a couple days," Torre said.
Phil Hughes will start today, followed by Mike Mussina tomorrow. Clemens is shooting for the series finale Monday.
With one out in the 14th, Zaun drove a 1-1 pitch from Brian Bruney (3-2) to right-center for his 10th homer this season and second RBI of the game.
"I wasn't going to get cheated," Zaun said. "We haven't made too many comebacks in this ballpark, especially after blowing a lead like that."
Joe Kennedy (4-9) escaped a 13th-inning jam and got two outs in the 14th. Jason Frasor ended it by fanning pinch hitter Wilson Betemit to earn his third save.
It was New York's longest game of the year by innings.
Halladay was in control all night - until the ninth.
He gave up four runs - one earned - and eight hits, striking out four and walking none. He threw 82 of his 110 pitches for strikes.
"That's about as dominant as I've seen him. He was having an easy time with us," Torre said.
Wang yielded two runs, one earned, and six hits in seven innings.
"He was just stacked up against a real good pitcher," Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry said. "But that's what aces do."