TORONTO -- With 18 innings at the office on their upcoming agenda, an extra-inning affair would have been the last thing on the Yankees' wish list. Brett Gardner sent his grateful team toward the tarmac with a single in the top of the 10th inning, driving home the deciding run
TORONTO -- With 18 innings at the office on their upcoming agenda, an extra-inning affair would have been the last thing on the Yankees' wish list. Brett Gardner sent his grateful team toward the tarmac with a single in the top of the 10th inning, driving home the deciding run in a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
After Domingo German, Adam Warren and Chad Green limited Toronto to one run over nine innings, some small ball made the difference. Greg Bird was hit by a pitch to open the 10th, and Austin Romine dropped a sacrifice, moving pinch-runner Tyler Wade to second base. Gardner then lashed a hit to left field off Tyler Clippard for the go-ahead run.
"These guys always play us tough up here, it feels like," Gardner said. "To lose the first game and come back to win the series, it all starts with our pitching. I thought German was great today. Once we turned it over to the bullpen, those guys keep putting up zeros. We were able to come through there in the 10th. It feels good."
Green pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth win, and with closer Albertin Chapman unavailable due to tendinitis in his left knee, Player Page for David Robertson worked the 10th inning for his second save. It was the Yankees' ninth win in 13 games against Toronto, setting up a happy flight to Baltimore, where they are scheduled for a doubleheader on Monday.
"As much as you manage for today, you look at the big picture, especially going into tomorrow," manager Aaron Boone said. "You're trying to stay away from a few guys in the bullpen. Domingo picked us up big-time to give us six strong. To be able to scratch a run there in the 10th, it's about as good as we could have gone. That was nice."
The Yankees have mashed left-handed pitching all season long, and they appeared on track for the same following a quick strike against rookie Ryan Borucki.
Aaron Judge singled, advanced on a Giancarlo Stanton double and scored on Miguel Andujar's first-inning groundout. The 24-year-old Borucki settled down from there, scattering seven hits over seven innings. The Yanks were hitless with runners in scoring position until Gardner's hit in the 10th, finishing 1-for-8.
Fortunately, German was sharp, holding the Blue Jays to one run -- Kendrys Morales' game-tying homer in the sixth inning -- and four hits over six innings. Warren contributed two scoreless frames to get the game to the ninth.
"I was feeling really good today," German said through an interpreter. "Just having confidence in all my pitches today. I stayed focused throughout the whole game. I didn't let anything get away from me today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
German had to work hard to keep the Blue Jays off the scoreboard in the fourth inning after issuing back-to-back two-out walks to Russell Martin and Randal Grichuk that loaded the bases. But German regained his composure, pumping a pair of fastballs past Jays shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to get ahead. After a waste pitch and another heater that was fouled off, German got Gurriel to wave at a curveball for strike three.
"I definitely did not want to get under the count," German said. "I wanted to be aggressive, to get ahead and try to use my breaking pitches. Spot them, locate those breaking pitches, so I could get him out there."
The Yankees are 11-1 in their past 12 games against a left-handed starting pitcher and are a Major League-best 23-6 against left-handed starting pitchers. They lead the Majors with 49 homers off lefties.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
In the third inning, Stanton smoked a 120.3-mph single off Borucki, the hardest hit in the Majors this season. Since 2015, there have only been five base hits of 120 or more mph; Stanton has four of the five, with the other belonging to Judge. A 121.1-mph lineout by Gary Sanchez is the only harder batted ball in 2018.
The Yankees will travel to Baltimore to open a four-game series with the Orioles on Monday, starting with a 4:05 p.m. ET doubleheader that will make up a May 31 postponement. Carsten Sabathia (6-3, 3.02 ERA) will start the first game, with Luis Cessa (0-1, 5.00 ERA) set to be added to the roster for the nightcap. Yefry Ramirez (0-2, 2.51 ERA) will start Game 1 for Baltimore, with the Game 2 starter still TBA. Game 2 will start approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.