The best team in N.Y.? It's the Blue Jays

September 8th, 2020

One of the biggest offensive innings in Blue Jays history came at the perfect time on Monday night at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., against the rival Yankees.

The Blue Jays put up 10 runs in the sixth inning of their 12-7 win by doing a little bit of everything all at once. There were walks to set the table, seeing-eye ground balls, a grand slam from and even a stolen base by

• Box score

This was the first time that the Blue Jays have put up 10 runs in an inning in just over a decade -- Aug. 31, 2010, vs. the Rays -- and fell just shy of their all-time high of 11 runs. In total, they forced three different Yankees pitchers to throw 65 pitches, flipping the script of a game that looked like it was headed in a completely different direction. As injuries continue to mount for the weary Blue Jays, who haven’t had an off-day since Aug. 13, they just keep finding new ways to win.

“It’s somebody else every day,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “When Bo [Bichette] went down, [Randal] Grichuk got hot and carried us for a couple of games. Now Teoscar [Hernández] is out, then [Lourdes] Gurriel [Jr.] got hot. It’s amazing how these things happen. Now, Rowdy [Tellez] is hot. Everybody is picking up each other and that’s a good sign of a good team.”

The win gives the Blue Jays a full two-game lead over the Yankees in the American League playoff race, too. With minimal threats from outside that top-eight playoff picture, the Blue Jays look comfortable in second in the AL East and fifth in the overall AL playoff picture, with plenty of time to climb even higher.

deserved the support from his lineup, too, after an uncharacteristically poor start where he allowed three home runs. An inning like that doesn’t spin out of control without a little help from the other side, either.

“It’s really hard to put it into words,” Ryu said through a club translator after the win. “These guys did an amazing job with the little things all the way to the big things.”

After and set the table with early walks and Grichuk singled, the first of 10 runs crossed due to an error by Yankees first baseman Luke Voit on a Tellez grounder. Next up was Guerrero, who hit a chopper in Voit’s direction that managed to slip under his glove and into the outfield for another pair of runs. With one well-hit ball, the rally was in full swing.

Travis Shaw eventually delivered the go-ahead hit, a two-run single, before Jansen capped off the massive inning. Jansen took a fastball at the top of the zone from Adam Ottavino and launched a 417-foot grand slam to left field, sending the Blue Jays’ dugout into a frenzy. When the dust settled, a four-run deficit had become a six-run lead.

“Everybody was just having quality at-bats and base hits,” Jansen said. “There’s so much resilience on this team and momentum. That was obviously a huge inning, but the quality of at-bats with the walks, that’s where it started.”

Jansen needed that one, too. The 25-year-old entered play on Monday hitting just .148 with a .570 OPS, a surprisingly slow start given how good he looked down in Spring Training earlier this year, with a revamped approach to hitting.

Jansen feels like he’s been right on the doorstep lately, just barely missing some pitches he feels he should have done damage with, but it all came together on that swing.

“It was pure happiness,”Jansen said. “I’m not really an emotional guy on the field. I try to contain it or almost save it for after. I’ve obviously been battling and struggling and I feel like I’ve just missed so many pitches this whole season. The fact that I could make an impact with the grand slam like that, I couldn’t help but fist-pump around first base.”