Yankees stay half game behind Rays
TORONTO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Aaron Hill's three-run homer in the fifth gave the Toronto Blue Jays a seven-run lead Wednesday en route to an 8-4 victory over the struggling New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays won in Cito Gaston's final home game as their manager and the team honored him before the contest.
New York missed a chance to take the lead in the American League East and remained a half game behind Tampa Bay. The Rays were blanked by Baltimore 2-0.
The Yankees have lost six of their last eight games and have surrendered at least seven runs in each of those setbacks.
Travis Snider drove home two of Toronto's first four runs with a solo homer in the first and a single in the second.
The Blue Jays had a 4-0 lead heading into the fifth before Hill hit his 26th homer of the year.
Brett Cecil (15-7) worked 5 1/3 innings to get the win, allowing three runs on nine hits.
Javier Vazquez (10-10) allowed the first seven Toronto runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
NASCAR turns down Bowyer's appeal
CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- NASCAR officials announced Wednesday the chassis penalty assessed to Clint Bowyer following his win in New Hampshire two weeks ago had been upheld.
The Richard Childress Racing team had appealed the stiff penalties handed down to Bowyer and both his crew chief and car chief after the opening race of NASCAR's Chase for the Championship.
Bowyer had jumped from 12th place to second in the points chase with the win, but his hopes for a Sprint Cup title were all but wiped out when his team was assessed a 150-point penalty.
Crew chief Shane Wilson and car chief Chad Haney were suspended for six races and placed on probation for the rest of the season. Wilson was fined $150,000. The sanctions came after Bowyer's car failed a post-race chassis inspection.
A three-member panel heard the appeal during a 5-hour hearing held Tuesday at NASCAR's research and development center.
Team owner Richard Childress said he would make another appeal to the governing body's Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook.
"I gave them the ($150,000) check and our appeal notice," Childress said. "We're going to appeal it to the commissioner (Middlebrook). We're very disappointed. We had proof."
Childress said last weekend the chassis was 0.06 of an inch out of alignment because a tow truck hit the rear bumper when the car was pushed into the winner's circle. Childress also said the rear bumper was hit by other drivers congratulating Bowyer for his victory.
The tow truck was used to push the car because it ran out of fuel before it could be driven back to the finish line.
Saints sign second kicker
METARIE, La., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The New Orleans Saints announced Wednesday they had signed 46-year-old John Carney, who will become the second kicker on their roster.
New Orleans made the move after Garrett Hartley missed a field goal try of 29 yards in overtime last Sunday that would have given the defending Super Bowl champion Saints a victory over Atlanta. The Falcons went on to defeat New Orleans 27-24.
Hartley is in his third season with New Orleans and kicked the winning 40-yard field goal in overtime against Minnesota last season in the NFC championship contest.
Carney has been in the NFL for 22 seasons and has kicked for nine teams. This will be his third stint with the Saints. He made 13-of-17 field goal attempts and 50-of-52 extra points in 2009 before being released by the Saints in December. Hartley replaced Carney for the final five games of the regular season and the playoffs.
Carney was retained as a kicking consultant after being removed from the roster last year.
He kicked for the New York Giants in 2008, compiling a career-best 143 points in 15 games.
In order to keep both kickers on the roster, the Saints waived wide receiver Adrian Arrington. There was no immediate indication as to who would kick for New Orleans this Sunday against Carolina.
Retiring Blue Jays Manager Gaston honored
TORONTO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Toronto Blue Jays Manager Cito Gaston was honored before his final home game Wednesday after 13 seasons at the helm and a pair of World Series titles.
Fans at the Rogers Center in Toronto acknowledged Gaston with three separate standing ovations during a 35-minute ceremony before the Blue Jays' game with the New York Yankees, as congratulatory messages were played, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Gaston, 66, is retiring at the end of this season.
"I want to thank you fans for the memories, for without you, there would be no memories," Gaston said. "I want you to remember: We need you again. We need you to come out, support this team and put this team back where it used to be."
Attending the ceremony were such Blue Jays greats as Joe Carter, Devon White, George Bell and Pat Hentgen, while pre-recorded messages from Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Tony Fernandez were played on the scoreboard, the CBC said.
Gaston had two stints as Blue Jays manager, from 1989 to 1997 and again from 2008 to this year. He led Toronto to back-to-back World Series wins 1992 and 1993.