Top prospect Sanchez earns first big league win
NEW YORK -- Blue Jays rookie Aaron Sanchez earned the first victory of his career on Sunday afternoon, but it didn't come in the most traditional of ways.
Sanchez was called upon in the seventh inning to preserve a 3-3 tie against the Yankees. He accomplished that, but after Toronto took the lead in the top of the eighth, Sanchez ended up giving the run right back.
A lot of rookies could have crumbled after that, but Sanchez managed to battle back and limit the damage. He was then rewarded for the coolness under pressure when Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro hit a go-ahead single in the ninth.
"Maybe not so much the way I would have liked it," Sanchez said of his first win. "We scored a run there in the eighth and I go back out there, and for me, I need to do a better job of shutting that inning down so we don't have to fight for another one. But these guys picked me up, and it's such an awesome feeling right now to get my first win, especially here in Yankee Stadium."
Sanchez's effort included a three-up, three-down seventh inning, with all of the outs coming on the ground. Those are the type of results Toronto needs from its top prospect after the right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday.
The strong seventh was enough to convince manager John Gibbons to give Sanchez another shot in the eighth. That didn't go quite as well, as Brett Gardner led off with a single and later scored with two outs when Carlos Beltran hit a single to left.
While it's not how Sanchez envisioned earning his first win, he'll still take it -- especially considering the Blue Jays earned a much-needed series victory over the division-rival Yankees.
"It's Carlos Beltran, he's a good hitter, he did exactly what he's supposed to do with that pitch," Sanchez said. "Fastball down and away and he flicked it into left-center field. I can't do anything about it, it's just about executing the next pitch. These guys picked me up in the ninth to get another run, and it feels good."