- Associated Press - Saturday, September 17, 2011

TORONTO — Mariano Rivera tied the major league saves record, earning the 601st of his career and matching Trevor Hoffman while preserving the New York Yankees' 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

The 41-year-old Rivera was perfect in pitching the ninth inning for his 42nd save of the season.

Rivera struck out Colby Rasmus looking to start the ninth, then retired Brett Lawrie on a broken-bat grounder to first. While some in the crowd of 39,288 headed for the exits, most stayed to watch as Rivera got Eric Thames on a routine fly to center.

Even before the ball had been caught, Rivera walked off the mound with his head lowered to shake hands with catcher Russell Martin. Rivera broke into a smile during the postgame congratulations line and embraced teammate Alex Rodriguez.


Center fielder Curtis Granderson flipped Rivera the souvenir ball.

Rivera, now in his 17th season in the big leagues, recorded his 600th save at Seattle on Tuesday. He also has 42 saves in postseason play.

The tying save came in Rivera’s 60th appearance of the year, surpassing former Yankees teammate Mike Stanton with a record 14 seasons of 60 games.

Granderson hit his 40th homer, a go-ahead shot in the seventh to cap a 12 pitch at-bat. He fouled off seven straight pitches before homering.

Rodriguez hit his 16th home run as the AL East leaders ended a two-game skid. The Yankees trailed 6-1 before beginning their comeback with four runs in the sixth.

Aaron Laffey (3-2) pitched one inning for the win. Scott Proctor, Laffey, Hector Noesi and Rafael Soriano each worked a scoreless inning before Rivera closed it out.

Bartolo Colon, who has not won in eight starts, allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings for New York.

The Yankees closed to 6-5 in the sixth. Granderson led off with a double and scored when Rasmus bobbled Mark Teixeira’s single to center. Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch and Rodriguez followed with his first home run since Sept. 4.

Derek Jeter opened the Yankees seventh with an infield single and Granderson homered against Carlos Villanueva (6-4).

The Blue Jays scored four times in the second against Colon. Rasmus and Jose Molina each hit RBI doubles, Lawrie drove in a run with a groundout and Mike McCoy capped it with a squeeze bunt.

The Yankees answered with a run in the fourth, an inning marked by Cano’s baserunning blunder. After hitting an RBI double, Teixeira moved to third when left fielder Adam Loewen dropped Cano’s fly ball to left. One out later, Nick Swisher hit a liner into right center but Rasmus made a fine running catch for the second out. Thinking the ball would drop, Cano rounded third and passed Teixeira, who was heading back to tag up. Cano was ruled out, and the Blue Jays got credit for a double play.

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