NEW YORK — Derek Jeter tried sparking another win on his farewell homestand. He got little help late as three more stars in pinstripes were out with injuries.
Jeter hit an RBI double during a ninth-inning rally, but the Yankees could offer little else with Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury unavailable in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday that hurt New York's fading playoff chances.
"We've been beat up," starter Chris Capuano said. "Guys are playing hurt and giving everything they have but we've kinda been bit by that injury bug a bit."
Bad timing, too. With eight to play, the Yankees are 4 1-2 back in the AL wild-card race.
Ellsbury strained his right hamstring Friday night and could be done for the season. Teixeira was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth because of soreness in his right wrist, the one that was operated on last year, and Beltran has been dealing with a bone spur in his right elbow much of the season.
Because Beltran was not available, manager Joe Girardi used Brendan Ryan as a pinch-hitter. Ryan, with an average of .196 coming in, had to bat in the ninth with two on against Casey Janssen. He struck out.
Teixeira will see the doctor who operated on his wrist.
"It's been bothering me, we know, for the last 10 days," Teixeira said. "I am going to play through anything. As long as we are in it, I'm playing."
Jose Bautista hit his eighth homer of the year against New York and Marcus Stroman (11-6) pitched six gritty innings as Toronto ended a season-worst six-game skid to keep its faint playoff hopes alive.
Danny Valencia hit a go-ahead, two-run double, helping hand the Yankees their first loss of Jeter's final homestand after two wins over Toronto. New York had won three in a row overall.
With most of the 47,292 fans at Yankee Stadium standing and chanting "Der-ek Je-ter!" his every at-bat, the retiring captain doubled and singled for his third straight multihit game. He also scored his 1,920th run to pass suspended teammate Alex Rodriguez for ninth place on the career list.
"The guy never stops fighting and believing in himself," Girardi said of Jeter. "It's an attitude that's infectuous and it's an attitude that you want in your players."
Awaiting word on his appeal of a six-game suspension for throwing over the head of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph on Monday, Stroman (11-6) gave up two runs and eight hits. He struck out seven without allowing a walk.
"It was an awesome environment," said the rookie right-hander who is from nearby Medford. "It was special, being from here, watching Jeter growing up, I definitely rank it pretty high."
Bautista scored four times and reached base five times, walking three times to pass 100 for the third time in his career.
Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI double in the first off Chris Capuano (2-4) but the Yankees took a lead with runs in the third and fourth.
Jeter singled off the glove of diving second baseman Steve Tolleson and scored on McCann's single after advancing on a wild pitch.
Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchinson (10-12) takes the mound in the finale of the season series between the teams.
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (12-4) is scheduled to make his first start since July 8. He's has been out with a partial tear of an elbow ligament and is trying to avoid Tommy John surgery.
Yankees fans booed Bautista as he left the field at the end of the seventh inning after he caught the last out in right field, turned and faked tossing the ball into the bleachers. Bautista had a ball in his back pocket upon his return for the bottom of the eighth and flipped it into the crowd. A fan feigned giving it to a woman in a Blue Jays jersey and threw it right back onto the field. "At first I thought it was some innocent back and forth," he said. "But after the ball was thrown I decided not to continue to have the interaction because, what was going to happen next?"
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