Despite another short outing by Masahiro Tanaka, the New York Yankees’ bats put up an 11-spot on the Toronto Blue Jays tonight as they tie the three game series at a game apiece
- New York Yankees 11 (60-52)
- Toronto Blue Jays 5 (53-60)
- W: Chad Green (2-0, 2.06 ERA)
- L: Nick Tepesch (0-2, 9.00 ERA)
- AL, Final, Box Score
- Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The game was originally billed as a battle of sinker ball pitchers, Masahiro Tanaka for New York and Nick Tepesch for the Toronto Blue Jays. But as neither man was able to make it the minimum five to get an official chance at a victory, the big night for the offense and another outstanding performance by the Yankee bullpen combined to shut the door on any Blue Jays’ ideas of a comeback.
When it looked like the Yankees were going to fall back into their recent bad habits at the plate with runners in scoring position as they left Brett Gardner stranded at second with no outs in the first inning, the Bombers squared up Tepesch in the second as they took the lead on the young righty.
Gary Sanchez obliterated a Tepesch fastball to lead off the inning, depositing his 18th over the center field wall to put the Yankees up 1-0. The very next batter Todd Frazier proceeded to hit a solo shot of his own in almost the exact same part of the park as Sanchez for back-to-back jobs to put New York up 2-0.
After Tanaka gave up a run in the bottom of the second to bring the Jays to within one, Didi Gregorius joined in on the solo home run parade by ripping one deep to right-center for his 18th of the year that put the Yankees back up by two at 3-1.
Just as they did in the second, the Blue Jays struck for another run in the bottom of the third as they continued to drive up Tanaka’s pitch count. After two walks and a catcher’s interference loaded the bases with one out in the third, Tanaka served up a sacrifice fly to Steve Pearce that scored Raffy Lopez from third to make it a 3-2 contest. Tanaka tossed his 60th pitch of the game to get Kevin Pillar to pop out to end the third.
Because this was a spot start for Nick Tepesch; and because the righty allowed a one-out walk to Aaron Judge and a double to Gregorius, Tepesch was pulled for Leonel Campos. The right-handed reliever immediately served up an opposite field double to Todd Frazier, splitting the gap in right center that scored both runners to put the Yanks up 5-2. The very next batter Jacoby Ellsbury duplicated Frazier’s efforts by sending a ball into the right-center field gap for a double of his own that plated Frazier to extend New York’s lead out to four.
Similar to young Tepesch, Tanaka could not make it out of the fifth frame and left the game in the hands of the Yanks’ tremendously talented bullpen.
Tanaka served up a solo shot to Josse Bautista (6-3) and walked Josh Donaldson (making it a season high five walks) before manager Joe Girardi let Chad Green come in and take over. Take over may be an understatement as the electric righty struck out Justin Smoak, Steve Pearce and Kevin Pillar in order to finish off the fifth.
Green’s second inning of work didn’t fare as well; as he gave up a one-out double to Ryan Goins that went to the wall in left-center, scoring Darwin Barney from first to pull the Blue Jays back to within two at 6-4.
Tommy Kahnle then came on in relief of Green and immediately walked Raffy Lopez, his first free pass in Yankee pinstripes. After retiring the following two hitters, Yankee-killer Donaldson struck again by lacing a single into center that scored Goins from second to make it just a one run ball game. But the fireballer would get out of it by getting the four-hole hitter Smoak to strike out to end the threat and the inning.
In a mini-game of revolving doors played by the Toronto bullpen in the eighth, the Yankees pushed across two insurance runs before handing the ball over to Dellin Betances.
Right handed Dominic Leone allowed a single to Todd Frazier, putting the struggling third baseman a triple shy of the cycle on the night. Leone was lifted for J.P. Howell, who proceeded to get Jacoby Ellsbury to strike out as the only batter the veteran lefty would face. Manager John Gibbons then took out Howell for a rookie right hander Taylor Cole, making his MLB debut. The rookie was rudely introduced to the Show as he served up a ringing double to Garrett Cooper that advanced Frazier to third. Ronald Torreyes followed suit by lacing a single into left that scored both Frazier and Cooper to make it an 8-5 game.
After Betances worked a scoreless eighth, the Yankees were back at it as they broke the game wide open in the top of the ninth. Back-to-back singles by Gregorius and Sanchez and then Todd Frazier getting hit by a pitch led to the Pinstripers loading the bases with no outs to begin the frame. Ellsbury grounded out to second to score Didi from third, 9-5. And then Cooper finished off his perfect night by collecting his fourth hit in as many at bats, this time a single to center that scored both Sanchez and Frazier to widen their lead to six at 11-5.
With the big lead, Adam Warren came on to pitch the ninth, retiring The Jays to get the much-needed series tying victory.
With Boston beating Tampa tonight, the Yankees remain four games back of the Red Sox in the AL East. And with Boston idle tomorrow, New York has a chance to pick up a half game with a Thursday night victory.
The Yankees look to keep up this momentum and take it into tomorrow’s finale as they try to lock down another important series victory before heading home to host the first place Sox.
New York sends their new toy Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41 ERA) to the mound in hopes of receiving the same “stuff” the righty had going in his Yankee debut in Cleveland, but with some better defensive results behind him this time. Toronto counters with the veteran right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12 ERA), who will try and duplicate the work done by J.A. Happ on Tuesday and silence these Bombers’ bats. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 P.M. and can be seen on the YES Network and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.