NEW YORK -- After an empty trip to Yankee Stadium, the skidding Toronto Blue Jays headed home in second place.Bryan Mitchell earned his first major league win, combining with Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard to shut down Torontos dangerous lineup, and the New York Yankees kept up their surprising surge with a 2-0 victory Wednesday night that completed a three-game sweep.For the first time since Aug. 12, the Blue Jays fell out of the top spot in the AL East. They dropped a game behind new leader Boston, which won 7-2 in San Diego.Were right in it. We just need either a big play or a big hit somewhere to get us going back in the right direction, nicked-up catcher Russell Martin said. Youre not going to see any panic from me.Following a day off, Toronto begins a pivotal three-game series Friday night at home against the Red Sox.Marcus Stroman (9-7) struck out eight in five innings, but the Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in six games. They were swept for the third time this season, the first since May 16-18 by Tampa Bay.Torontos power-packed team has been blanked on six occasions this year, three at Yankee Stadium.Were fine. Extremely confident group of guys that we have, Stroman said. Were just going through a little bit of a rough patch, but our mentality hasnt changed for a second in this clubhouse.Starlin Castro homered and Brian McCann had an RBI single for the Yankees, who have won four straight and 10 of 14. They closed within 2 1/2 games of Baltimore for the second AL wild card and are 4 1/2 behind Boston.Making an unexpected run at the postseason after trading several veteran stars for prospects this summer, the youth-infused Yankees (73-65) climbed a season-best eight games above .500.Weve been playing playoff baseball really since about August 1, manager Joe Girardi said. We keep getting closer, and thats the idea here. And its been fun.Helped by two double plays, Mitchell (1-0) yielded four hits over five-plus innings in his fourth career start and first major league outing this season. The 25-year-old right-hander pitched in place of injured rookie Chad Green.Mitchell was promoted Tuesday from Triple-A after missing much of the year because of an injury to his left big toe sustained late in spring training. He became the third Yankees rookie to have a scoreless start in the past three-plus weeks.After the whole season, what I went through, tonights very rewarding, Mitchell said. Its been my goal all year to get back here.A leadoff double by Devon Travis in the sixth ended Mitchells night before Severino tossed three innings of one-hit ball.Travis got caught breaking for third on Josh Donaldsons comebacker and was tagged out in a rundown. Severino was aided by a replay reversal in the seventh, and Edwin Encarnacion flied out to the wall in right field with a runner on to end the eighth.Clippard, filling in as the closer with Dellin Betances and Adam Warren unavailable, struck out two in a perfect ninth to finish the five-hitter. His only other save this season came with Arizona before he was traded back to New York.Guys are in a good frame of mind, but physically were a little banged up, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.SEEKING A SPARKLooking to shake some things up, Gibbons moved DH Jose Bautista into the cleanup spot and batted Travis leadoff. Gibbons said he was hoping to get Bautista more RBI opportunities.HOMETOWN KIDThe 25-year-old Stroman, who grew up on Long Island about 55 miles from Yankee Stadium, had beaten New York five straight times. He is 5-2 with a 2.10 ERA in seven starts against the Yankees.TRAINERS ROOMBlue Jays LHP Francisco Liriano (back) was unavailable. ... Martin (left knee) was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. He said his knee bothered him on every swing and he felt he wasnt helping the team at the plate. Im a tough guy, so Im not really worried too much about it, he said. Ive been dealing with it for a while now. And Ive actually hit pretty well with my knee bugging me.UP NEXTToronto RHP Marco Estrada (8-7, 3.56 ERA) starts the series opener Friday night against Red Sox RHP Rick Porcello (19-3, 3.23), the major league leader in wins.Ultra Boost Italia . To the surprise of many, it isnt the Wolverines but their in-state rivals the Michigan State Spartans. Outlet Ultra Boost Online .ca NFL Power Rankings, overtaking the Denver Broncos and remaining ahead of NFC competition San Francisco, Carolina and New Orleans. http://www.ultraboostoutlet.it/ . According to a report from the Vancouver Province, the Lions are expected to replace former DC Rich Stubler with defensive backs coach Mark Washington. Ultra Boost Outlet Italia . -- James Young couldnt wait to apply those tweaks to his jump shot, and the first one he made against UT Arlington told him it could be a good night. Scarpe Ultra Boost Uomo Offerta . -- When the Florida Panthers fell behind by two goals in the first period to the top team in the NHL, it appeared they were on their way to yet another loss.TORONTO -- Tim Leiweke recalls chasing David Beckham for two years before he convinced the Real Madrid star to take a leap of faith and come to Major League Soccer. As the newly minted Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO looks to add star quality to struggling Toronto FC, he knows the soccer landscape has changed since. Marquee players who used to stick to elite leagues in England, Italy and Spain are being drawn further afield. "We are not the only ones out there trying to build the sport," Leiweke said in an interview Monday. He pointed to former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba who chose China over MLS. And then the Ivory Coast star continued his globe-hopping by signing in Turkey. "I dont think that would have happened eight years ago," Leiweke said. "I just dont think those other countries and leagues were a player at the time. So we have to acknowledge its going to be harder to find these guys." That said, Leiweke -- who essentially wrote the book on MLS designated players by signing Beckham -- reels off an extensive shopping list of qualities a successful DP must have. Someone who can "move the needle" and make waves on and off the field. "The second thing is you cannot make a mistake on a DP. You have to be right. Youve got to find a guy with character, a player thats willing to understand the uniqueness of Major League Soccer and the style of play that we have here. "You had to have a player that will be unusually patient with the young, developing players and the kids. They had to be selfless. Theyve got to have the right attitude in that locker-room or youre going to have a problem. Because theres a huge separation of the haves and the have-nots when it come to what theyre making. That cannot be an issue in the locker-room. "You had to have a player thats willing to be an ambassador. This is more than just coming here to play. You had to have someone that is willing to (take), accepts the responsibility and thrives on the pressure of being the guy. Because unlike a lot of other clubs that youre going to go to in the rest of the world, were only allowed three of these guys maximum and usually you have two very good ones. L.A. was the unique example where they had three of them (with Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan)." If Leiweke was a sketch artist, he would have just come up with a portrait of Beckham, MLSs most famous import. But the MLSE boss stays current, pointing to the Red Bulls French superstar Thierry Henry. "Hes a man that wants the pressure. He wants to be the guy and I think especially this year hes done a very good job of getting everyone on the same page in that locker-room and on that pitch. "Those are unique, unique guys to find and you cant make a mistake. Id rather wait and find the right player than feel that we have to do something today, even if its a bad decision. We cannot make a bad decision here. Weve got to be careful because those will stay with you for a while. You only have a few of these slots, you cannot bring in the wrong guy because then youre stuck." Leiweke admits Beckham was a "perfect" match. But he is also a huge fan of Keane, the Irish international striker who has found a home in Los Angeles. For Leiweke, adding Keane to a team that already had Beckham and American Landon Donovan was the final touch. "When Robbie came, we became great," said Leiweke "That was the one missing piece we had." While Beckham was a world brand when he came over, Leiweke says Keane was "at a low ebb and people had given up on him." The deal to get Keane took just one weekend. "We caught lightning in a bottle," said Leiweke. Keane, now 33, has gone on to score 25 goals and add 18 assists in 44 MLS games. And the Galaxy have won the league championship in two of his three seasons here. "We were very fortunate to have those kind of character guys (in L.A.). It would be great if we could find either one of them here. AAnd by the way I havent even talked about Landon Donovan and the uniqueness of bringing him back from Germany and the difference he made in the league.dddddddddddd. L.A. found three very good DPs that were good character guys in the locker-room. Im hoping we can do a few of them there." Given Leiwekes extensive list of DP requirements, could Wayne Rooney prosper in MLS, a reporter muses out loud. "He could," Leiweke said, before seemingly writing off the mercurial Manchester United star without saying so. Beckham loved the challenge of taking MLS to the next level, Leiweke said. Keane understood the challenge and the opportunity to win championships with Beckham and the impact that would make. Henry came because he loved the challenge of New York and putting the Red Bulls on the map. "There is a common thread with each one of these guys that weve talked to," Leiweke said. "Which is they absolutely want to come and make a difference. And theres a character about them and a personality about them where they love the challenge of Major League Soccer. "Not every player is going to have that maturity and that understanding of the role they have to play here. I dont know Wayne Rooney so I cant tell you whether or not he fits that role and it would probably be inappropriate of us to make that judgment on a guy weve never met." Former designated player Torsten Frings relished his time in Toronto in part because of the anonymity he enjoyed away from the pitch, compared to the tabloid fever in his native Germany. Leiweke tried to bring Frank Lampard to Los Angeles and says one of the attractions for the veteran Chelsea midfielder was getting his life back in North America after enduring the spotlight in London. Much to Leiwekes disappointment, Lampard elected to stay in England. But the MLSE president says successful DPs cannot stay in the shadows. "There has to be a unique personality here, they have to have a little charisma. Theyve got to be a star and they have to want at least attention and ultimately the ability to make a difference. And that means they cant go into the quiet of the night, theyre going to have to be a star." Uruguayan World Cup star Diego Forlan has been linked to Toronto. Leiweke made no mention of the charismatic forward, currently playing for Internacional in Brazil, other than to briefly comment when told Forlan ranked 99th on the Guardian newspapers 2012 list of the top 100 players in the world. "Thank God, he made it," he said dryly. Asked if he will get his man, whoever it is, by the end of the current transfer window, Leiweke talked of keeping the door open. "It may be this window, it may be the next window. We have to find the right person. We are committed to spending the money, the owners have committed to that. "Thats the good news. Theres no lack of resources here. That said, 1) weve got to find the right player and 2) he has want to come and then 3) weve got to make a deal. "And those three are tough. All three of them combined, I truly believe theres only 10 to 12 people youre talking about here. Take your list of 100 and the problem is 90 of them are under contract and theyre not going anywhere. So that leaves 10. And of those 10, theyve got to fit those three qualities: the character, the desire and the financial ability to get them out of their current deal." "Were not the only ones fishing," he added. Toronto had three designated players last year in Frings and strikers Eric Hassli and Danny Koevermans. Only Koevermans remains with the team. Frings retired and Hassli was traded away. The 34-year-old Dutch forward, who has 17 goals in 30 games in an injury-plagued MLS career, makes US$1.663 million this season. Under MLS rules, only $368,750 of that counts against the $2.95- million salary cap. Argentine midfielder Matias Laba, a newcomer this year, is termed young designated player for TFC. Only $200,000 of his salary counts against the cap. ' ' '