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    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Yankees Fail to Clinch Playoff Spot


    Blue Jays 5 Yankees 4

    The Yankees had the playoffs in their grasp. All they needed was a win or a Ranger loss to Oakland, and George Steinbrenner's millionaires would be guaranteed a wild-ard.

    On the mound was Orlando Hernandez, the pitcher who had awed New Yorkers by coming back from arm surgery to win his first eight decisions.

    The Yankees gave him a 3-0 lead. Manager Joe Torre gave the entire team a break by not telling them the importance of the game. And 49,560 had piled into the Stadium to give the home team a roaring advantage.


    The lowly Blue Jays rallied to hand the Yankees a 5-4 loss and El Duque (8-1) his first defeat. Working behind in the count most of the night, Hernandez gave up all five runs on eight hits in 61/3 innings while the Rangers were beating Oakland, 5-3
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