Happ's MLB-best 17th win spurs Blue Jays

August 17th, 2016

NEW YORK -- When pitches well, the Blue Jays win. When the offense shows off its potential, the Blue Jays win. When both happen, that's just a good day.

After scoring 12 unanswered runs in Tuesday's victory, the Toronto offense picked up right where it left off Wednesday afternoon, getting runners on base at a high rate and beating the Yankees, 7-4. Center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. provided the biggest blow, lacing a three-run home run over the short porch in right field in the Blue Jays' four-run fifth inning.

Happ may have received a lot of run support, but that doesn't mean he threw poorly. The left-hander gave up three homers and four earned runs -- the most he's allowed since June 28 -- in 7 1/3 innings, striking out nine while earning his Major League-best 17th win.

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"I look back on those three [home runs], and really the only one I'd call a mistake was the one to -- he pulled a two-seamer kind of middle and he crushed that one," Happ said. "The other two I felt like were pretty good pitches, they just got to them and in this place anything can happen. Overall, I felt good and on the offensive side we put up a couple of crooked numbers and that's always huge."

Yankees starter , on the other hand, didn't have the same degree of success. Despite striking out a season-high 12 batters, Sabathia allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in six innings.

"I don't think it's seven earned runs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in defense of his pitcher's day. "I look at it as probably four. I know how scorekeepers do it, but there's no reason we should've given up four today. We had a tough day defensively, and it cost us."

Budding star kept up his recent hot streak for the Yankees, hitting his fourth home run in as many games, the latest a solo shot to lead off the second inning. Sanchez has now hit five homers in his first 15 big league games, becoming just the third Yankee to achieve such a feat. Fellow rookie Aaron Judge also joined in with an RBI of his own, driving in Headley with a single in the eighth as part of a two-hit day.


Melvin's moment: Upton Jr. has not been making a lot of hard contact since he joined the Blue Jays prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but he did get enough of one on Wednesday afternoon. Upton Jr. lifted an 0-1 sinker from Sabathia and sent it over the wall in right field for his first extra-base hit in a Toronto uniform. According to Statcast™, Upton's 17th home run of the year was projected to travel 368 feet and left his bat at 101 mph. He didn't get all of it, but with a short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, it was enough.

"This is a great hitting group," Upton said. "Obviously, I watched from the other side. They've been great all year and they're always in the ballgame. It just feels good to join the bunch."

Fielder's choices: For the Yankees, the road half of the fifth inning was a series of mishaps that compounded on one another. Two Blue Jays batters reached on fielder's choices and two were able to advance on a Headley throwing error, setting up the Upton home run later in the frame. Though all four of the runs in the inning were earned, Sabathia found himself in a more difficult situation due to the mistakes forcing him to change his approach.

"The ball down the line, I honestly thought I made the right play, he just got to second before I could get it there," Headley said. "And then, obviously, the chopper was just a bad throw, it was overthrown. It's unfortunate because we … you give up a run, you feel OK about it, but it turned into a big inning. It's disappointing." More >

The daily double: Toronto did not waste much time before getting on the scoreboard, and it was the bottom of the order that got the job done. With two runners on and one out in the second, hit an RBI double to left field for the first run of the game. followed with a double of his own as two more runs crossed the plate. It was Carrera's second hit since coming off the DL on Tuesday, and it was Barney's second extra-base hit in his last two starts.

"That's key to our team, those guys at the bottom getting on base," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We have such good powerful hitters at top, somebody has to be on base for those guys."

The new normal: Since his callup, the Yankees have maintained that Sanchez is not in the Bronx to watch, he's in the Majors to play. And he hasn't just played, he's played well. With his second-inning homer, Sanchez now has five home runs in 50 at-bats this season. By comparison, has 10 home runs in 301 at-bats.

"When I go out there, I'm not thinking of hitting home runs," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "The mentality is to go out there and just put a good swing on the ball. Fortunately, a lot of good things are coming out and I'm hitting the ball pretty good right now." More >


"He's a future All-Star, year in and year out. There's not many guys walking around with his talent. It's going to be nice to see him grow into that player. I consider him one of the better -- if not the best -- young catchers I've seen since I've been in the big leagues."

-- veteran catcher , on Sanchez


The Blue Jays became just the sixth time in Major League history to win five consecutive road series at Yankee Stadium. Baltimore from 1964-67 (10 series), the Philadelphia Athletics from 1911-13 (eight), the Red Sox from 1911-13 (seven), the White Sox from 1908-09 (five) and Cleveland from 1967-69 are the others.

Blue Jays closer set a new Major League record for most saves before a pitcher's 22nd birthday. Osuna picked up career save No. 47, which moved him past Terry Forster.


Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will enjoy a day off on Thursday before opening a three-game series on Friday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Left-hander (6-12, 5.46) will start the opener, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Liriano is still looking for his first win in a Toronto uniform, and he's coming off an outing in which he allowed five runs over 5 2/3 innings in a start vs. the Astros.

Yankees: After an off-day Thursday, the Yankees head West for a six-game road trip in Anaheim and Seattle, beginning with a three-game set vs. the Angels. Ace will take the mound for the Yankees in Friday's opener at 10:05 ET.

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