Blue Jays defeat Yankees in home finale

[audio:|titles=John_BlueJaysWednesday_Podcast]In the final home game of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays sent retiring manager Cito Gaston off in style with an 8-4 win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.

After enjoying a ceremony celebrating the career of the Jays skipper, fans at the Rogers Centre were treated to a couple of record-breaking home runs.

Travis Snider, John Buck and Aaron Hill homered off Yankees starter Javier Vazquez on Wednesday, giving Toronto franchise-record 247 home runs in one season.

Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez set a major-league record after his 30th home run of the season in the sixth, becoming the first player to hit at least 30 dingers in 14 straight seasons.

Toronto (82-76) won the rubber match of the three-game series with New York (94-65), which clinched a spot in the post-season with a win against the Jays on Tuesday.

In his final start of an impressive sophomore season, Brett Cecil (15-7) had a decent outing, allowing three runs and nine hits in 5 ½ innings of work.

It did not take long for the Blue Jays record to be broken as Snider led off the first inning with a solo shot into the right-field seats.

Buck hit a solo homer to opposite field in the second inning off Vazquez to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.

Snider drove in the Jays third run of the game later in the second when he singled to left, which scored John McDonald, who doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

In the fifth, Aaron Hill hit a three-run blast into the second deck just inside the foul pole, extending the Jays’ lead to 7-0, putting an end Vazquez’s night.

Vazquez (10-10) pitched 4 2/3 innings, surrendering seven runs, 10 hits and two walks.

Hill drove in his fourth run of the night in the seventh when he singled to right off reliever Joba Chamberlain.

Cecil was strong through five innings until Rodriquez put the Yankees on the scoreboard with a solo blast to lead off the sixth.

Later in the inning, RBI singles by Francisco Cervelli and Greg Golson cut the lead to 7-3, chasing Cecil from the game.

The Yankees rally was halted when Nick Swisher grounded into a double play with the bases loaded after Jason Frasor relieved Cecil.

New York added a run in the ninth to reduce the gap to four, but closer Kevin Gregg was brought in and forced Robinson Cano to fly out to end the game.

Toronto opens up its final series of the season on Thursday in Minnesota, a four-game set that will mark the Jays’ first appearance at Target Field.