NEW YORK -- One of the big turning points in the Blue Jays' 7-1 victory over the Yankees on Monday night was a play that is rarely seen in Major League Baseball: The two-run sacrifice fly.
Ryan Goins appeared to have at least a double, and possibly more, when he hit a deep shot to straightaway center field in the top of the sixth. Jacoby Ellsbury had other ideas, coming up with a spectacular grab while crashing into the wall, but the Blue Jays' baserunners were ready, which led to something that hardly ever happens.
Two runs came around to score as Goins picked up the first two-run sacrifice fly in Blue Jays franchise history. It also was the first two-run sac fly in the Majors since Sept. 16, 2014, and Ellsbury was involved in that one as well, after he took extra bases away from Tampa Bay's William Myers.
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"I felt good about the two runs, but that's probably about the 10th time he has robbed me of a hit," Goins said after the game. "A little [angry], a little happy, a little bit of both ... He has robbed me a couple of times diving. Maybe I'll get him back one day."
Toronto was hanging onto a 2-1 lead in the sixth and had runners on second and third when Goins stepped to the plate. He had homered once already, a two-run shot in the second inning for his second of the year, and he almost had another one. He sent a 3-0, 97-mph fastball from New York's Luis Severino deep to center field.
The ball had double written all over it, but Ellsbury tracked it down at the warning track and went face first into the wall. Justin Smoak scored easily from third, and Devon Travis also tagged up on the play from second base. Ellsbury fell to the ground after the violent impact but alertly tried to throw the ball to right fielder Aaron Judge, who would have been in a better position to relay it back into the infield.
The only problem was that Ellsbury's toss went over Judge's head. Toronto third-base coach Luis Rivera was watching the play and quickly waved Travis home. Travis easily scored the second run of the inning, putting the Blue Jays in front 4-1, a lead they later increased on Chris Coghlan's homer two batters later.
"That was incredible," Judge said of the catch. "I was yelling, 'He's got room, he's got room.' It was one of those plays that only a few guys in the game can actually make, and he went out there and made it. I'm just glad he wasn't hurt."
Goins was robbed of a hit, but it continued his productive day at the plate. He snapped an 0-for-15 skid by going 1-for-3 with four RBIs, one shy of his career high.
Ellsbury deserves most of the credit for coming up with such a remarkable play, but Travis should receive some praise as well for his awareness on the basepaths. That was one thing Ellsbury made sure to take note of after the game.
"I said, 'You were tagging on that?'" Ellsbury commented. "He said, 'Yeah, I knew you were going to catch it.' That's respect. If he's off, he's probably touching third and then he's got to come back, then he's got 180 feet to make up."