(Reuters) - Raul Ibanez smashed a grand slam home run in the eighth inning to lift the streaking New York Yankees past the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Monday.
The Yankees, who left the bases loaded in the ninth inning of their 10-8 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, forged a 2-0 lead by the third but Toronto's Adam Lind homered in the fourth and the visitors drew level two innings later.
Ibanez then stepped up in the bottom of the eighth to dispatch the bases-clearing shot over the right field fence and give the Yankees a comfortable four-run lead.
"It's definitely a situation you want to hit in," Ibanez told reporters after hitting his 10th career slam.
"That's what you want as a hitter. You play the game to get into situations like that. When you're in the backyard as a kid, you're thinking 'bases loaded, two outs'."
With the win, the Major League-leading Yankees opened up a nine-game lead in the American League East.
New York (55-34) gave up a run in the ninth but Rafael Soriano got the final two outs for his 23rd save of the season.
Yankees starter Phil Hughes left after the seventh inning and David Robertson pitched the eighth to pick up the win.
"It was a battle today," Hughes said. "It was a grind, but I hung in there and just tried to keep it close. Unfortunately, I gave up a lead but the other guys battled back and got a win out of it."
Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez tossed six innings in a no-decision with reliever Aaron Loup taking the loss as one of three Blue Jays (45-45) pitchers who appeared in the eighth.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)