Jesse Barfield hit a home run and Tom Henke put down a rally in the seventh inning to help the Blue Jays reduce their magic number for clinching the American League East championship to eight with a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers last night in Toronto.

The Blue Jays lead the second-place New York Yankees by six games. Any combination of Blue Jays victories and Yankees defeats totaling eight would give Toronto its first divisional title in its nine years in the American League. The Yankees did not play yesterday.

Jim Clancy gave up four hits in seven-plus innings but two of them, singles by rookie Earnest Riles and veteran Cecil Cooper, put runners on first and third and endangered Toronto's 2-0 lead in the seventh.

Henke came in and got Ted Simmons to hit into a double play that made it 2-1.

Barfield's 25th homer came with one out in the second off Tim Leary (1-2) to put Toronto ahead, 1-0.

In the sixth, George Bell hit a high fly ball to right that gave Randy Ready trouble. The ball bounced past him, entered into the bullpen area and went for a triple. Ernie Whitt singled to make it 2-0.

Barfield singled and stole his 20th base in the seventh to become the first Blue Jay to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season.