After six innings of one run ball by both teams, the Blue Jays finally broke through in the 7th inning against the New York Yankees feared bullpen when Kevin Pillar drove in Edwin Encarnacion from second with a single off of Dellin Betances, and then Darwin Barney topped it off by driving in two more runners with a single of his own.
Blue Jays pitcher J.A Happ locked into a lefty pitchers duel with New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabbathia, with the Blue Jays finally emerging victorious after 6 innings of solid pitching from both pitchers, and some shutdown pitching by the Blue Jays bullpen.
After giving up a 2nd inning run on a ground out by Aaron Hicks, which drove in Chase Headley who had doubled to lead off the inning, Happ shut the Yankees down for the next four innings, finishing the evening up with 6 innings of 1 run ball, allowing 4 hits and 2 walks, to go with 3 strikeouts. In the process he lowered his season ERA to 3.06.
After going through 3 innings without scoring a run, the Blue Jays finally broke through in the fourth inning when Justin Smoak hit one out to deep centre field over the outstretched arm of centre fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. It was Smoak’s 5th home run of the year.
Joe Biagini was the first man out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays, and allowed Didi Gregorious to get into scoring position before getting Jacoby Ellsbury to strike out after a 9 pitch at-bat.
And after taking the 4-1 lead in the bottom of the 7th, the next man out was Jesse Chavez who pitched a clean 8th inning, including a strikeout and a gorgeous catch by Darwin Barney way back in the foul territory, pretty well in the right fielders territory.
Roberto Osuna entered in the 9th, picking up his 12th save of the season.
Outside of this game, the Blue Jays received some bullpen reinforcements when they acquired the Atlanta Braves closer Jason Grilli for the low price of pitching prospect Sean Ratcliffe, who does not have much pedigree. While Grilli has struggled this year, he has had some memorable seasons in recent years, including an all-star year in Pittsburgh with now Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin behind the plate for him.
Tomorrow’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees will be featuring a great pitching match up between the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka and the Blue Jays young stud Aaron Sanchez.