The New Yankees departed Toronto out of last place.
Mike Mussina won for the first time this season, and the Yankees swept a two-game series with a 4-3 victory over Blue Jays.
New York arrived in Canada having lost five of six games and was tied with Tampa Bay for last place in the AL East at 5-9. Now the Yankees are one game ahead of the Devil Rays.
"We've been struggling, so we needed to win a close game," Mussina said. "I think this gives some confidence, hanging on to win."
Mussina (1-1) allowed three runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking one.
The 36-year-old right-hander escaped jams in the third and fourth innings by inducing double play grounders. Relievers Buddy Groom and Frankie Rodriguez bailed him out in the sixth, getting out of a one-out, two-on jam.
Relievers Mike Stanton and Tom Gordon also worked, and Mariano Rivera, New York's fifth reliever, allowed two runners in the ninth but got his third save in five chances.
"You win games in strange ways sometimes," Mussina said. "Our bullpen won this game for us. We needed it as a group, and they needed to come through and hold on and get us a win."
Bernie Williams had two hits and an RBI for the Yankees.