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Jays slam Tanaka, put Yankees' clinch on hold

September 22, 2017

TORONTO -- Ryan Goins pulled off a hidden ball trick that caught Todd Frazier napping, then slugged a grand slam that ended Masahiro Tanaka's night as the Blue Jays trounced the Yankees, 8-1, on Friday evening at Rogers Centre, delaying New York's postseason clinch for at least one more day.New

TORONTO -- Ryan Goins pulled off a hidden ball trick that caught Todd Frazier napping, then slugged a grand slam that ended Masahiro Tanaka's night as the Blue Jays trounced the Yankees, 8-1, on Friday evening at Rogers Centre, delaying New York's postseason clinch for at least one more day.
New York's magic number is down to one after the Angels and Rangers both lost Friday night. The Yankees can secure a postseason spot Saturday with a victory over Toronto or losses by both the Halos and Texas. New York fell four games behind Boston in the American League East with the Red Sox's win at Cincinnati. The club's lead for the first AL Wild Card spot stood at 5 1/2 games over the Twins after Minnesota's win at Detroit.
The Toronto shortstop flawlessly executed his trick play in the third inning after Jose Bautista snared a Jacoby Ellsbury liner to right field, pretending to toss the ball back to the mound before slapping a tag on Frazier. Goins' second career grand slam busted the game open in the sixth, following homers by Teoscar Hernandez and Russell Martin earlier in the contest.
"With the new rules, you keep the tag on for a long time sometimes," Goins said. "So I just joke around, keep it on there, knowing guys aren't going to come off. That time, I just arm faked and was going to sit there and watch him. Something in my head told me he was going to take his foot off the base. I put my glove on him, and that was it really."

Aaron Judge cracked his American League-leading 46th home run in the first inning off Toronto's Marco Estrada, who settled in to provide seven sharp innings of three-hit ball in his first start since agreeing to a one-year, $13 million contract extension. Judge's 469-foot blast was the longest home run hit at Rogers Centre this year.

Tanaka permitted seven earned runs for the second time in his last three starts, and he has served up 35 homers this year; only Rick Porcello (36) has allowed more. Tanaka said that inconsistency in his slider and splitter were to blame.
"It's very disappointing," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "We're here towards the end of the season, and I understand how important these games are. You want to go out there and perform. Not being able to execute pitches and not being able to perform, it is very disappointing."

Though Tanaka has been considered the Yankees' ace since 2014, manager Joe Girardi is instead weighing Luis Severino against Sonny Gray to start should the club participate in the AL Wild Card Game.
"You look at everything, but I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves," Girardi said. "We still haven't clinched anything. We need to win games and we need to play well. Tonight we didn't."
Goins' big night: The hidden-ball trick will receive most of the attention, but Goins' bat also was responsible for breaking the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Girardi stuck with Tanaka and allowed him to face Toronto's No. 9 hitter for the third time, noting that Goins was 0-for-22 in his career against Tanaka. Goins quickly fell behind 0-2, but then unloaded on an 86-mph slider and sent it deep over the wall in right field. Goins has 10 hits with the bases loaded, which is tied with Carlos Delgado for the most in a single season by a Blue Jays player. He also became the first shortstop in franchise history to hit two grand slams in the same season.
"I had all the confidence in the world of going with my slider there, but it just didn't come out of my hand right and it hung," Tanaka said.
Martin's moment: Martin delivered a big blow against one of his former teams in the bottom of the fourth inning. With a runner on first, Martin sent a drive over the wall in left field for his 13th home run of the season. According to Statcast™, the home run came with a launch angle of 18 degrees, which was Martin's lowest over the last three seasons. It reached a height of just 46 feet and left his bat at 108 mph for a projected distance of 374 feet.

"Just a bonehead play by me, to be honest with you, because I try and do that, too. I thought the ball was thrown in. Just one of those things, nothing you can do about it afterwards. It's just one of those things where you have to have a little better mindset of understanding what's going on in the game. Just not a good play on my part." -- Frazier, on the hidden ball trick
"Probably not much. He's already signed his contract. If he hadn't, it might have been more important." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, jokingly responding to a question about how a strong finish will help Estrada going into the offseason and next year

Goins is batting .714 (10-for-14) with the bases loaded this season. The 10 hits lead the Majors.
Yankees: Gray (9-11, 3.38 ERA) will start Saturday's 4:07 p.m. ET matinee at Rogers Centre. He is coming off his shakiest start as a Yankee, having allowing five runs and six hits in four innings vs. the Orioles. Prior to that, Gray had compiled a 2.66 ERA in eight starts for New York, though he was just 3-5 due to a lack of run support.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Joe Biagini (3-11, 5.33) will take the mound when this series continues on Saturday afternoon. Biagini's outings have been impossible to predict of late, as he continues to battle consistency issues. In his last start against the Twins, Biagini could not get out of the second inning, as he allowed six runs on five hits and a walk while retiring just four batters.
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.