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Yankees win rewarded with AL East lead

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 2, 2006


YANKEES 5, BLUE JAYS 1

NEW YORK - Patience paid off for Bobby Abreu in his Yankees debut.

Abreu worked a nine-pitch walk that loaded the bases in the fourth inning, and Bernie Williams followed with a tiebreaking, three-run double that led New York over Toronto.

With their sixth win in seven games, the Yankees took over the AL East lead for the first time since mid June, leading the Red Sox in percentage by .602 to .600.

Abreu, acquired from Philadelphia on Sunday, batted fifth and started in rightfield. He went 0-for-3, grounding out in the second, flying out in the sixth and grounding out in the seventh.

After Abreu walked, Williams drove the next pitch to the gap in left-center for his 442nd double, tying Don Mattingly for second on the Yankees' career list behind Lou Gehrig (535).

New York traded for Abreu to play right in the absence of Gary Sheffield, out since June.

Jaret Wright won for the first time in three starts.

Notable: The Yankees limited use of some of their out-of-town scoreboard, video board and televisions in the stadium to preserve energy during the heat wave. The gametime temperature was 96.