TORONTO – Brett Cecil had a good view for another nice night by Jose Bautista, and he was impressed once again.
“He’s just unbelievable,” Cecil said.
Bautista hit two towering home runs, raising his major league-leading total to 18, and the slugging Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees, 6-1, on Friday night, snapping New York’s five-game winning streak.
“This is uncharted water for me, but it feels good,” said Bautista, who eclipsed his previous career high of 16.
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Cecil (6-2) pitched eight innings for Toronto, matching a career high. He allowed one run and five hits while improving to 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his past four starts.
“This year I’m not intimidated by anybody,” the second-year left-hander said.
Bautista led off the second with a drive off A.J. Burnett that went off the facing of the third deck in left. He went deep again in the fourth, finding the same area for a two-run shot.
“He’s a good hitter, take nothing away from him,” Burnett said. “But when the ball comes over in the happy spot, people are going to crush them.”
Cecil has been impressed by the power surge from Bautista, who also hit a double and went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
“He just takes a lot of pride in what he does, and that’s hitting the ball hard and barreling the ball up,” Cecil said. “Fortunately for us, most of them are going out of the park.”
Edwin Encarnacion led off the fifth with his eighth homer, a drive to left-center that gave Toronto a 4-0 lead. Seven of his past 10 hits have been home runs.
Burnett (6-3) allowed six runs and six hits in six innings, walked four and struck out two against his old team. The right-hander had allowed just four homers in his first 11 starts this season and never more than one in a game.
“He didn’t pitch that poorly, but the mistakes he made, they hit,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Burnett has struggled in two starts in Toronto since opting out of his contract with the Blue Jays and signing with the Yankees after the 2008 season. He allowed five runs over 72/3 innings in a 5-1 loss to Roy Halladay on May 12, 2009.