Randy Johnson fumed at the home plate umpire when he didn't like a call, which is not unusual. Last night, it nearly cost the New York Yankees a critical game.
Johnson had his shortest start in more than a decade, ejected in the second inning by Fieldin Culbreth. The Yankees bounced back to take an eight-run lead against Toronto, then barely held on.
Robinson Cano homered twice and drove in five runs, Alex Rodriguez hit his league-tying 43d home run, and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 11-10, last night at Toronto for their fifth straight win.
''I can assure you that nobody finds it exciting to come to the ballpark this time of year and have to eject Randy Johnson," Culbreth said.
Johnson left the clubhouse without talking to reporters.
With Toronto leading, 3-2, with two outs in the second inning, Frank Menechino at the plate, and the count, 2-2, Johnson threw a pitch on the inside part of the plate that was called a ball. The 6-foot-10-inch lefthander yelled at Culbreth.
Culbreth yelled something at Johnson and pointed at the pitcher. Johnson yelled something back, and the umpire ejected him.
Johnson allowed three runs and two hits, throwing 50 pitches. Scott Proctor relieved and retired Menechino on his first pitch.
It was Johnson's shortest regular-season start since July 23, 1993, for Seattle at Cleveland, when he lasted 1 1/3 innings, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Cano hit a three-run homer off Dave Bush (5-9) in the third that put New York ahead, 5-3, and a two-run shot off Brandon League in the fourth that boosted the lead to 11-3. The rookie tied his career high of five RBIs, set Thursday at Tampa Bay.
Indians 3, Royals 1 -- Casey Blake and Grady Sizemore hit consecutive fifth-inning homers as host Cleveland beat Kansas City to maintain its wild-card lead.
Scott Elarton (10-7) gave up one run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings as Cleveland won for the 10th time in 11 games.
Scott Sauerbeck got the final out of the eighth inning and Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his 42d save in 47 chances, completing a six-hitter.
Elarton held the Royals hitless until Aaron Guiel singled to start the fourth. Guiel was quickly erased on a double play, one of four turned by the Indians.
Kansas City's only run was on a two-out homer by Mark Teahen in the fifth. Elarton became the fourth Cleveland starter with 10 or more wins, joining Cliff Lee (16-4), Jake Westbrook (15-14), and C.C. Sabathia (13-10).
After Teahen's fourth homer gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead, Aaron Boone drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and Blake homered to right.
White Sox 2, Twins 1 -- Joe Crede drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single in the 10th inning and struggling Chicago beat Minnesota at Minneapolis.
The White Sox won for just the second time in eight games and maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over Cleveland.
Bobby Jenks (1-0) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for his first major league win.
Jermaine Dye and A.J. Pierzynski started the 10th with singles and Jesse Crain (10-5) made an error when he couldn't handle Juan Uribe's sacrifice bunt, loading the bases. Crede followed with a liner that bounced off Crain's leg, scoring Dye.
Rangers 5, Mariners 3 -- Rod Barajas homered and Josh Rupe allowed two runs over five innings to win in his major league debut as host Texas beat Seattle.
Devil Rays 6, Orioles 1 -- Scott Kazmir pitched six innings of two-hit ball and Jorge Cantu hit two solo homers for the visitors.