Jaret Wright must feel as though there's a bull's-eye on his back -- not to mention his neck, chest and elbow.
Bruised when hit by a line drive in the first inning, Wright was ineffective and the Toronto Blue Jays ended New York's five-game winning streak yesterday with a 7-4 victory over the host Yankees.
''A bat, two balls -- I don't know," Wright said. ''When it keeps happening, it's definitely frustrating."
Wright (5-4) gave up singles to the first three batters, loading the bases and prompting a visit from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. Shea Hillenbrand hit a dribbler toward third for an infield single, driving in the first run. Eric Hinske's sacrifice fly was dropped by Matsui for an error that allowed another run to score.
Gregg Zaun then smacked a liner right back at Wright, knocking the pitcher off his feet. The ball hit him on the right side of his chest, leaving Wright with yet another bruise.
It was the third time this month that he was literally hit hard on the mound. He was knocked out of a start in Seattle on Sept. 1 when Raul Ibanez's liner struck him near the neck. And he left his previous outing Sunday in Toronto after he was hit in the right elbow by a broken bat.
Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano made costly errors for the Yankees, who lost for only the second time in 13 games, and fell into a tie for the AL East lead with the Red Sox, 4-3 winners at Baltimore.
Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske each drove in two runs for Toronto. Wright was chased with no outs in the second inning, his shortest start since August 2004 with Atlanta.
Staked to a comfortable lead, Scott Downs (4-3) held New York in check for 5 2/3 innings. Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees.
Indians 11, Royals 4 -- With another big night at the plate, Cleveland maintained its wild-card lead.
Jhonny Peralta, Ronnie Belliard, Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp homered to lead Cleveland over host Kansas City, the Indians' 17th win in 19 games.
Cleveland is 1 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees and Red Sox. Cleveland (92-63) remained 1 1/2 games behind the White Sox (93-61) in the Central.
Ben Broussard had a career-high three doubles and four RBIs for Cleveland, which had 16 hits, including seven doubles and four homers. The Indians, who have won four straight and 10 of 11, set their season high for extra-base hits and have 62 homers in their past 31 games.
Kevin Millwood (9-11) allowed one run -- a leadoff home run to Aaron Guiel -- and seven hits in six innings, lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.92.
White Sox 8, Twins 1 -- The White Sox appear to be breaking out of their September slump.
Freddy Garcia allowed four hits in eight innings, and Jermaine Dye hit a three-run homer for the second straight night to lead Chicago over Minnesota.
Athletics 7, Rangers 6 -- Jason Kendall hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, and Oakland rallied from a three-run deficit to top visiting Texas. After Jay Payton led off the eighth with a double down the left-field line, Dan Johnson followed with a tying RBI double off the wall in right. Hiram Bocachica entered as a pinch runner, John Wasdin (2-2) intentionally walked Mark Ellis, and Kendall's drive got past shortstop Michael Young. .