TORONTO -- Todd Frazier has opted to be referred to as "The Toddfather" during the upcoming Players Weekend, but on Wednesday night, he was simply the man who homered and drove in three runs to help power the Yankees to an 11-5 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Gary Sanchez ("Kraken") and Didi Gregorius ("Sir Didi") also homered for the Yankees, who pounded out 17 hits, one shy of their season high.
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"I'm very satisfied," said Frazier, who went 3-for-4, scored four runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle. "Not only me, everybody came through today. Hitting is contagious, man, as that old saying goes. Everybody pretty much came through today in the offensive outburst. Let's keep on doing that. That would be pretty nice."
With the victory, the Yankees (60-52) remained four games behind the Red Sox in the American League East while maintaining a 2 1/2-game lead for the first AL Wild Card.
Making just his second appearance of the season, and his first with the Blue Jays, starter Nick Tepesch was charged with five runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, surrendering all three homers. Frazier roped a two-run double off reliever Leonel Campos in the fifth and Jacoby Ellsbury ("Chief") followed with an RBI double.
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"They took advantage of some pitches I left over the plate and kind of up in the zone, and they did a good job of hitting them," Tepesch said. "I thought I was OK. Most of the time, solo home runs aren't going to hurt you, but I gave up three tonight. I didn't think it was horrible, but I didn't think it was great, either."
Masahiro Tanaka started for New York, but lasted just four-plus innings, allowing three runs (two earned) with five walks.
"He didn't really have his split tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We talk about how important that pitch is for him, and he just didn't have a good one."
Ryan Goins ("Go Go") and Josh Donaldson ("Bringer of Rain") chipped away with run-scoring knocks in the sixth, but Ronald Torreyes added a two-run single in the eighth off Taylor Cole, who made his Major League debut.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Todd breaks through: Frazier delivered in a key spot in the fifth after a walk to Aaron Judge ("All Rise") and a Gregorius double placed runners at second and third with one out. The Blue Jays played the infield back, conceding a run, but Campos whiffed Sanchez. Frazier cashed the two-out hit, stroking a two-run double up the gap in right-center field. Frazier had two extra-base hits Wednesday after tallying just two in his first 18 games as a Yankee.
"I don't think I've been struggling, to be honest," Frazier said. "The defense has been there, I've had some opportunities where I've driven some guys in. If you look at the stats, maybe everybody looks at the batting average and says, 'He's struggling.' But I've gotten guys over, I've gotten big walks in key situations. We can talk about little things. I've thought I've helped this team out a lot and hopefully I keep that going."
Now it's a game: The Blue Jays worked Tommy Kahnle for his first rough outing since re-joining the Yanks in the sixth. After Goins chased Chad Green with an RBI double, Kahnle threw a wild pitch and walked Raffy Lopez before getting Jose Bautista ("Joey Bats") to pop out. Donaldson ripped a run-scoring single to right-center, cutting New York's lead to 6-5, before Kahnle struck out All-Star Justin Smoak to end the inning.
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"We pulled in close, thought we had a chance to win it, but they just blew it open there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
"We didn't have a whole lot left down there. Our bullpen guys have been getting abused a little bit, so that's what happens." -- Gibbons, on using Cole in a one-run game. Cole made his Major League debut and allowed four runs on six hits while retiring just three batters
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Bautista hit a solo homer off Tanaka in the fifth. That marked his 35th career home run vs. the Yankees, which moved him into a tie with Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria for the most by any active player.
THUNDER DOWN UNDER
The Nos. 6 through 9 hitters in New York's lineup -- Frazier, Ellsbury, Garrett Cooper and Torreyes -- combined to go 10-for-19 with five runs scored, three doubles, a homer and nine RBIs. Cooper became the first Yankees rookie first baseman to collect four hits in a game since Joe Collins in 1950. More >
Yankees:Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41 ERA) will make his second start as a Yankee on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET in the rubber game at Rogers Centre. Gray lost his club debut Aug. 3 at Cleveland, allowing four runs (two earned) and four hits over six innings. Gray is 4-3 with a 1.59 ERA over his past six starts.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12) will take the mound when the Blue Jays wrap up the series with Thursday's rubber game at Rogers Centre. Estrada struggled throughout June and July, but has started to turn things around, allowing just four earned runs over his past 14 innings.
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