NEW YORK -- Sean Reid-Foley may only have five career starts under his belt, but the rookie looked like a seasoned veteran on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.Despite a late rally by the Yankees, Reid-Foley's five solid innings of two-hit ball were enough to help the Blue Jays fight off the
NEW YORK -- Sean Reid-Foley may only have five career starts under his belt, but the rookie looked like a seasoned veteran on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Despite a late rally by the Yankees, Reid-Foley's five solid innings of two-hit ball were enough to help the Blue Jays fight off the Bronx Bombers in an 8-7 victory, snapping the club's four-game skid. The win also ended Toronto's six-game losing streak to New York.
In his first scoreless outing, Reid-Foley walked four batters and fanned 10, making the 23-year-old hurler the first in franchise history to record 31 strikeouts through his first five big league starts. He is also the second Blue Jay to record two double-digit-strikeout outings as a rookie, joining Scott Richmond.
The starter set the tone early, striking out the side in the first before running into trouble in the second. After two walks and before an infield single by Gleyber Torres loaded the bases, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons paid a quick visit to the mound.
"He was like, 'Hey, we gave you runs. The first inning was right where you needed to be at. Stop trying to make perfect pitches. Throw the ball over the plate. Let the defense work,'" Reid-Foley said. "Basically like, 'Figure it out.'"
It didn't take long for Reid-Foley to figure it out, as he settled in to strike out the next three hitters and escape the jam unscathed.
"I'll tell you, he was very aggressive," said bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who took over for Gibbons after he was ejected in the second. "Whatever Gibby went out there and said to him, you could see the aggressiveness that then followed. You're talking about bases loaded and three punchouts. He was aggressive with his fastball. I thought he threw the ball well."
Reid-Foley's efforts were nearly spoiled as the Yankees put up six runs against Toronto's bullpen in the seventh. Giancarlo Stanton took Dennis Tepera deep before Didi Gregorius, who hit a homer in the sixth, launched his second long ball off Danny Barnes. Miguel Andujar then blasted a grand slam off Tyler Clippard to cut the Blue Jays' lead to one. But the bullpen held on, as Ken Giles picked up his 21st save in as many chances this season by recording the final four outs.
"We were in a situation where that four-out [save] may be needed because we needed to kind of keep [Jose Fernandez] and [Mark Leiter] as a long man if it went extra innings," Hale said. "We kind of emptied out bullets there in that inning with the pitching changes, but we were just trying to get through it. He welcomed the challenge, and I think he's done it a few times but not a whole lot, and he responded very well."
Randal Grichuk sparked the Blue Jays' offense in the second inning with a leadoff homer before Aledmys Diaz and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. each knocked in a run with singles to left. Grichuk logged his fifth-career multi-homer game -- third of the season -- with a solo blast in the third.
Kevin Pillar followed with a jack of his own, marking the seventh time the Blue Jays have gone back-to-back this season. Pillar's shot chased Yankees starter Carsten Sabathia after allowing five runs in 2 1/3 frames.
Toronto scored three more in the seventh -- which turned out to be the difference -- on base hits by Diaz and Richard Urena.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jake Petricka replaced Reid-Foley to start the sixth inning and allowed a leadoff homer to Gregorius. He collected two outs, but not before plunking Torres and allowing a base hit to Luke Voit that prompted a call to the bullpen. Tim Mayza came on to face pinch-hitter Andujar, who worked a walk to load the bases. The Blue Jays then turned to Tepera, who struck out Andrew McCutchen to end the inning.
MAILE, GIBBONS EJECTED
After Reid-Foley issued consecutive walks to start the second, home-plate umpire Roberto Ortiz called the first pitch to Torres a ball just off the outside corner. Luke Maile voiced his displeasure from the dugout that prompted Ortiz to eject him. Gibbons came out to discuss it, but he was ultimately thrown out in the process after a long argument on the field.
Giles' save marked his first of more than one inning since he tossed two frames on Aug. 31, 2017, against the Rangers while with the Astros.
HE SAID IT
"There's a little bulldog in him. He let some pitches go, and I saw where he wasn't afraid of contact at some point. When he walked those two guys and bases loaded, he let some pitches go. That's a good sign for a young pitcher. Not afraid of contact. Not afraid of the moment. Three punchouts later, I'm not sure that's going to happen all the time, but just his mentality and him being aggressive, that's a good sign for a young pitcher." -- Hale, on Reid-Foley escaping the second-inning jam
Thomas Pannone will take the mound Sunday afternoon to close out the three-game series against the Yankees. It will be Pannone's second straight start after a strong outing against Cleveland last Sunday, when he picked up the win after allowing just two runs over 6 1/3 innings. In three career starts, the left-hander has gone 2-1 with a 4.86 ERA. He blanked the Yankees over 1 1/3 frames out of the bullpen on Aug. 19. Right-hander Lance Lynn will get the ball for the Yankees. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. ET.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.