New York Yankees Recap: Yankees Beat Blue Jays 6-4; 2.5 GB In AL East


Entering play down 3 1/2 games in the division, the New York Yankees entered Tuesday’s matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays needing a victory.

The Yankees struck first, as Jacoby Ellsbury led the game off with a double.  After a Brett Gardner fly out and a walk to Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann ripped an RBI single to the wall.  Carlos Beltran was able to score Rodriguez with a sacrifice fly, pushing the Yankees first inning lead to 2-0.  Greg Bird followed with a double, but Chase Headley was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, striking out and ending the threat.

The Blue Jays responded in the bottom of the third with a home run from Kevin Pillar off Luis Severino to cut the lead to 2-1.  In the bottom of the fourth, Josh Donaldson led off with a walk, and after Beltran made a great catch taking an extra-base hit away from Jose Bautista, Severino threw a wild pitch to Edwin Encarnacion, giving the Blue Jays a runner in scoring position with one-out.  After retiring Encarnacion, Justin Smoak singled to right, scoring Donaldson, but was thrown out at second base after tying the score at 2.

Severino finished with six innings pitched, allowing just three hits and two runs, while striking out three and walking three.

In the top of the seventh, the Yankees threatened after a one-out walk to Dustin Ackley, as Didi Gregorius followed with a single, which initially advanced Ackley to third base, and put Gregorius at second base.  Unfortunately for the Yankees, after the umpires took a look at it, it was ruled that Ackley was out on a great throw by Bautista and tag by Donaldson.

With Gregorius on second base, Marco Estrada intentionally walked Ellsbury, and was replaced by Aaron Loup.  Gardner followed with an infield single that deflected off Loup, loading the bases for Rodriguez.  Liam Hendriks came in to face Rodriguez, and proceeded to strike out the Yankees designated hitter.

In the top of the eighth, Beltran came through with another huge home run in the Rogers Centre, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.  Dellin Betances entered for the bottom of the eighth, and after a single by Pillar, and a sacrifice, the tying run was in scoring position with just one out.  After striking out Ben Revere, Betances walked Donaldson, as Pillar stole third base.  Bautista followed with a walk, loading the bases for Encarnacion.  Betances was able to escape trouble by striking out Encarnacion.

The Yankees once again were threatening in the top of the ninth against Drew Hutchinson, as Chris Young, who entered as a defensive replacement, led off with a walk, and Gregorius followed with a ground-rule double that likely would have scored Young.  Ellsbury hit a fly ball that would have scored Young, if not for another great throw by Bautista.  With Gregorius on third and two outs, Gardner worked a four-pitch walk, giving Rodriguez a chance with runners on the corner, but he proceeded to fly out.

With one-out and Andrew Miller pitching in the ninth, Dioner Navarro hit a game-tying solo home run.  After a two-out double by Pillar, Miller intentionally walked pinch-hitter Matt Hague to face pinch-hitter Russell Martin.  After walking Martin, the bases were loaded for Donaldson.  He was able to strike out the MVP candidate to end the threat, and send the game to extra innings.

Leading off the top of the tenth, McCann reached on a bunt single to beat the shift, and was replaced for pinch runner Rico Noel.  Pinch-hitting for Brendan Ryan, who entered the game in a double switch, was Slade Heathcott.  Heathcott reached on a catcher’s interference, giving the Yankees runners on first and second with nobody out.

Bird followed with his 10th home run, giving the Yankees a 6-3 lead in one of the biggest moments of the season.  In the bottom of the tenth, Encarnacion hit a solo home run off Miller, but that was all the Blue Jays would get, as the Yankees won the game 6-4, cutting their AL East deficit to 2 1/2 games.

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