Blue Jays on Yanks' heels after taking finale
TORONTO -- Drew Hutchison tossed a quality start backed by a three-run third from the Blue Jays' bats in a 3-1 victory over the Yankees in the series finale at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Toronto narrowed New York's lead in the American League East to a half-game.
Jose Bautista smacked a two-run homer off Yankees starter Luis Severino to give the home team a three-run cushion. That was was enough support for Hutchison, who lasted 6 2/3 innings while allowing an earned run on three hits to record his third victory in as many starts.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo shot off Hutchison in the sixth to get the Yankees on the board, but the visitors could not generate any further offense as they saw their three-game win streak come to an end.
"I thought we did a good job coming in here and winning a tough series on the road," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We snatched one the other day and had a few chances today. We didn't have many chances, but anytime you can win two out of three, that's a good series."
Severino, making his third career start, took the loss. He gave up three earned runs -- all in the third -- on five hits with nine strikeouts. The 21-year-old has yet to earn a big league win. Roberto Osuna came on for the ninth to close things out for the Blue Jays, recording his 13th save of the season.
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Bautista dials up power: After an RBI single from Josh Donaldson, Bautista decked a two-run shot to center field to give the home team a 3-0 lead in the third inning. It was his 28th of the season and seventh of August.
"Just figuring out a way to win and on the run is part of baseball," Bautista said. "We just had to execute and our pitching gave us a chance today that with only three runs we got the victory. So that was a great win."
Carlos can't see: Carlos Beltran lost a battle with the sun in the home half of the third inning, which turned out to be a pivotal play. Beltran couldn't find Troy Tulowitzki's fly ball, which fell and was initially scored an error before being changed to a double. Severino would have been out of the inning if the ball was caught, but the rookie instead surrendered a hit and homer on a pair of hanging sliders, leaving the mound trailing by three runs.
"As soon as the ball was hit, I saw it all the way," Beltran said. "I lost it when it was basically getting close to me. I couldn't do anything. The ball hit me in the back. Unfortunately, it would have been a different story if I had caught that ball." More >
Hutchison stays hot at home: Hutchison exited with two outs in the seventh after allowing a double to Brian McCann. It was one of only three hits the right-hander allowed on the afternoon as he improved his home record to 10-1. His outing helped Toronto starters extend their club-record streak of allowing three earned runs or fewer in 20 straight games.
"You've seen what our offense is capable of all year, and when we pitch well it gives us a great chance to win," Hutchison said. "We just need to continue to do that and give our offense a chance to go out there and do their thing." More >
Severino acting the part: Despite the "sun ball" and the ensuing hits to Donaldson and Bautista, Severino provided the Yankees with his second quality start in three big league outings, holding Toronto's potent lineup to five hits with three walks and a career-high nine strikeouts. Severino has received a total of two runs of support in his three outings, picking up his lone run Sunday on Ellsbury's sixth-inning homer. He has 18 strikeouts and just four walks in 17 innings.
"I think I'm doing pretty good, and I'll keep working hard so I can do it better," Severino said through an interpreter. "I just try to hit the glove most of the time. Hit the glove and everything's going to be OK."
"It's awesome. I've never experienced anything like that so I'm going to continue to enjoy it. ... I guarantee that the fans are enjoying it, they're loving it. We really get to feel that energy from the crowds and how into the games they've been getting lately."
-- Bautista, on playing meaningful baseball this late in the season
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With a paid attendance of 46,792 on Sunday, the Blue Jays have dawn 40,000-plus fans in five straight games for the first time since 1995.
Yankees: CC Sabathia takes the ball on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET as the Yankees open a three-game series against the Twins at Yankee Stadium. Sabathia has logged back-to-back quality starts for New York, but the left-hander has not won since July 8, a span of five outings. Kyle Gibson draws the start for Minnesota.
Blue Jays: Veteran righty R.A. Dickey takes his knuckleball to the mound as the Blue Jays open a two-game Interleague series against the Phillies in Philadelphia on Tuesday, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The 40-year-old has been hot since the All-Star break, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.49 ERA in six starts.
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