Blue Jays add to AL East lead with 4-run 11th
NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays drew five walks and a hit batter while Ben Revere recorded the lone hit in a four-run 11th inning that secured a 9-5 victory over the Yankees in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
The victory increased Toronto's lead over New York to 3 1/2 games for first place in the American League East. The Blue Jays have won their last six games at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks have lost four straight games overall.
Toronto's high-powered offense usually does most of the damage on its own, but in the 11th, all the Blue Jays had to do was sit back and watch. Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell loaded the bases without giving up a hit and then lefty Chasen Shreve entered and walked three batters with the bases loaded.
"That's what our offense does, they score runs and today was a perfect example of that," Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada said. "We put it all together. I obviously didn't do a great job today, gave up a couple of home runs that cost me and I felt pretty good, but besides the fact that we pulled it off, it was a huge win, we needed it and I'm just glad we won."
Toronto and New York were locked in a 4-4 tie until the eighth inning, when Jose Bautista hit his second homer of the day with a solo shot off right-hander Dellin Betances. The one-run lead proved to be short lived after Brian McCann followed in the bottom half of the frame with a single up the middle vs. Blue Jays lefty Brett Cecil.
Russell Martin earned the first walk with the bases loaded in the 11th, Revere followed with an RBI single then Josh Donaldson and Bautista followed with free passes to cap the frame.
In addition to Bautista's two homers, Revere and Edwin Encarnacion also went deep for the Blue Jays as Yankees starter Michael Pineda allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings. Pineda has just one win since the All-Star break.
"The first homer to Bautista was a little surprise for me," Pineda said. "It was not really a good swing. He's a pretty good hitter and he swings it hard so he got it."
Estrada also didn't receive a decision after he served up home runs to Brett Gardner, Chase Headley and a two-run shot by Alex Rodriguez. Estrada lasted five-plus innings and allowed four runs on six hits and a walk.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The disastrous 11th: With the game tied in the 11th, Mitchell opened the inning by walking Encarnacion, hitting Cliff Pennington with a pitch and then walking Chris Colabello. He struck out Dioner Navarro swinging before being replaced by Shreve, who walked Martin to give the Jays a 6-5 lead. The Jays added three more runs on Revere's RBI single and bases-loaded walks by Donaldson and Bautista.
Bautista bomb: Bautista's impressive afternoon began in the fourth inning with a rare homer to the opposite field. He later gave Toronto the lead with the solo shot off Betances. According to Statcast™, the homer off Betances was projected to travel 429 feet and left his bat at 107 mph. It was Bautista's fourth multi-homer game of the season and the 27th of his career. Toronto's slugger also has four career multi-homer games against the Yankees.
A tie, but no lead: Down by a run entering the eighth inning, the Yankees rallied to tie the game. Jacoby Ellsbury and Gardner led off the inning with walks, and after Carlos Beltran popped out to the shortstop, Ellsbury advanced to third on a wild pitch while McCann was at the plate. McCann then singled to center field to score Ellsbury and advance Gardner to third. Gardner was stranded at third as Headley popped out and a hard-hit ball by Greg Bird was handled by Pennington at second base for the final out.
Encarnacion evens it up: Encarnacion extended his on-base streak to 41 games in the top of the fourth inning with a single to left. He added a two-run shot in the fifth off Pineda to tie the game at 4. Encarnacion's on-base streak is tied for the second longest in the Majors this season and trails only Matt Holliday (44). According to Statcast™, Encarnacion's 32nd home run of the year was projected to travel 353 feet and left his bat at 100 mph.
"It is a small ballpark, but I don't mind giving up homers because I know it's part of it, and whatever, it's not a big deal to me. But there was one today that rubbed me the wrong way, I guess. I thought it was a pop fly but it went over by a little bit. I had to pitch in it and Pineda had to pitch in it, so that's just the way it goes." -- Estrada, on the three home runs he surrendered
"Well we're here to play hard and try to win the game and try to win the division. This is the [first-place] team ... just try to keep your head up and just play hard every day and try to win the game." -- Pineda, on if an AL Wild Card spot is looking more likely for the Yankees
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gardner's home run in the first inning gave the Yankees their first lead over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in 46 innings. That streak goes back to the second game of the season, on April 8.
Dating back to July 29, the Blue Jays have won 31 of 40 games. That's the best 40-game stretch by an AL club since the Twins went 32-8 in 2006.
TULO GOES DOWN
Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki exited Game 1 of the doubleheader after colliding with Kevin Pillar in shallow center field while making a catch to end the second inning. An MRI revealed a small fracture in his left shoulder blade, and he was also diagnosed with upper back muscle bruises. The club will monitor him over the next week before a timeline for his return can be established. Tulowitzki was replaced in the lineup by Pennington. More >
Blue Jays: After the Blue Jays finish their doubleheader against the Yankees on Saturday, they will close out their four-game set on Sunday. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (10-10, 4.01 ERA) gets the ball in the series finale. Dickey has allowed two runs over his last 15 innings and has a 2.68 ERA since the All-Star break. The game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (11-6, 3.57 ERA) will be pitching on just four days' rest in the series finale on Sunday after having throwing 104 pitches through eight innings in his last outing. He has faced the Blue Jays three times this season, going 1-2 with a 3.32 ERA.
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