Bernie Williams; Photo: Newsday/David L. Pokress

The Yankees took three games over the weekend from a struggling Toronto team to increase their record to 71-39 overall and expand their lead over the Red Sox to 10.5 games. In the first three games of the four game series the Yankees outscored Toronto 25-6. Friday 11-4, Saturday 6-0 and Sunday 8-2

In Friday's 11-4 win over the Blue Jays, Javier Vasquez came out of the box a bit slow and gave up three early runs. In the bottom of the inning the Yankees struck back and tacked on four runs of their own. Vasquez settled down after that and refused to give up another run. Hideki Matsui homered twice and had six RBI on the night. Derek Jeter was 3-4 with two RBI and back-up catcher John Flaherty had two RBI and a solo home run.

On Saturday Orlando Hernandez and Ted Lilly matched up again, and again it was Hernandez getting the better or Lilly. Hernandez went eight innings, struck out seven, walked two and allowed zero runs. Hernandez raised his record to 4-0 with the Yankees. Miguel Cairo, batting in the lead-off spot ignited the offense, going 3-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Bernie Williams drove in two runs.

On Sunday Jon Lieber bested Migual Batista and got his eighth win of the year. Lieber also pitched into the eighth inning. He struck out five, walked one, allowed two earned runs and scattered four hits. Bernie Williams landed the knock-out punch early, hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning. Gary Sheffield blasted his 26th home run of the season, and added on two RBI.

The real winners this weekend were the Yankees bullpen. Rivera, Quantrill and Gordon logged a combined one inning; that was Paul Quantrill's inning in Yesterday's game. This afternoon the Bronx Bombers close out the 4 game series by sending Esteban Loaiza (9-5, 4.97) against Josh Towers (6-4, 4.83). Texas comes into the stadium on Tuesday for a three game series. The Rangers are currently 1.5 games out of first place in the AL West and are tied with Boston and Anaheim for the wild card.