Blue Jays, Daniel Norris capitalize on Yankee mistakes in 6-3 win


With rookie starter Daniel Norris on the mound, the Toronto Blue Jays looked to escape New York with their first series win to start the 2015 season. They did just that, capitalizing on one big inning and a couple of Yankee miscues to take the rubber game 6-3.

Yankee starter C.C. Sabathia was solid most of the night, striking out 8 Blue Jays hitters in the game. However, he ran into trouble in the top of the second inning when Toronto pieced together 5 singles and two RBI ground-outs to plate 4 runs in the inning to take an early lead.

Meanwhile, Daniel Norris cruised for the early innings, not allowing a hit until Jacoby Ellsbury reached him for a single with two outs in the third. Ellsbury would be erased three pitches later, when Russell Martin gunned him down trying to steal second base.

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The Yankees would begin to break through the Norris wall in the bottom of the 5th inning when Didi Gregorius hooked an 0-2 slider into left field to drive in John Ryan Murphy. However, Gregorius made another baserunning mistake, rounding first too aggressively and the Jays nabbed him on the cut-off.

The Blue Jays would add on an insurance run in their half of the 6th inning, when New York when a throw got away from Chase Headley and Josh Donaldson rolled around all the way from first base to score on a Danny Valencia single.

That run became huge during the bottom half of the inning, when Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira tagged Norris for two solo home runs. wrapped around a line-out by Carlos Beltran. A ground-out by Chase Headley made it look like Norris was going to end it there, but the young lefty hit Chris Young a few pitches later and that was his night. Roberto Osuna came in and surrendered a second double to Murphy before striking Stephen Drew out on a 95 MPH fastball to end the threat.

The Blue Jays would get a big insurance run in the top of the 8th inning when Edwin Encarnacion notched his second home run of the season. The bomb to the left field bullpen gave the Blue Jays a 6-3 lead and a little more room to breath.

Toronto’s bullpen took care of business from there, with Brett Cecil and Miguel Castro working the last two innings to close out the series win in New York.

Final. 3. 43. 6. 39

Game Notes:

  •  Daniel Norris was dominant early, keeping the Yankees off balance with his change-up and fastball mix. However, by the second and third time through the line-up, the New York hitters were getting some much better cuts off of the lefty. Still, it showed some guts for Norris to get out of this game with just 3-runs surrendered over 5.2 innings of work, mixing in a pair of walks and 5 strike-outs in the process.
  • Giving way to Roberto Osuna, the flame-throwing right-hander was outstanding yet again, throwing 1.1 innings, surrendering just the double to Murphy and a walk to Gregorius. However, he showed that fastball by fanning Drew, Rodriguez, and Beltran all on the heat.
  • Gotta appreciate some of the veteran plays by the young Blue Jays tonight. With 1 out in the 4th  and with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Norris fanned Chase Headley on a big hook. Thinking that was the end of the inning, Russell Martin started walking off the field. Norris, cognizant of the out count, immediately ran home yelling two his catcher. Nothing came of the play, but it was a heads up play.
  • The next inning, on that Gregorius single, the Jays got a big out when Devon Travis snuck in behind the runner and Danny Valencia smartly hit him after cutting off the throw to the plate.
  • A night after blowing his first save opportunity of the season, Brett Cecil was back on the mound, coming in to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning.
  • For pitching his third consecutive game, Miguel Castro was quite efficient, getting a flyout and a pair of ground-outs on 15 pitches (11) strikes to register his first big league save.


B. The end results weren’t necessarily kind to Norris, but he pitched a gritty ballgame and earned his  first Major League victory in the process. Whether he tired late in the outing or it was the cool conditions, it was obvious the Yankees had a better bead on him after they saw him a few times. The Blue Jays will want to work that into their game plan for the next outing.. . <strong>Daniel Norris</strong>. STARTING PITCHING

Game Ball. <strong>Roberto Osuna</strong>. BULLPEN . A. What more can you say about Roberto Osuna? After getting a big out last night, Osuna came on an struck out 3 in an inning and a third tonight on a night when things started to look like they were going to get away from the Blue Jays again tonight. Let’s also not discount Brett Cecil, who struck out a pair in his inning of work to protect the lead. Miguel Castro came in to get the save for the Blue Jays but getting a flyout and a pair of weak ground-outs against the bottom of the Yankee line-up.

Game Ball. <strong>Edwin Encarnacion</strong>. OFFENSE . A. With a big single to start the four-run rally in the second inning, Encarnacion played a big part in the opening fireworks. However, the solo-shot home run in the top of the 8th was a big run, giving Toronto a three-run cushion at a point when the game got out of hand the night before.  Overall, the Jays rapped out 9 hits in the game, and went 3 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

Next: Is Miguel Castro the new Blue Jays closer?

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