Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays drop second straight with late stumble against Yankees

Craig Borden
Jun 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jason Grilli (37) delivers a pitch against Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jason Grilli (37) delivers a pitch against Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays kept the New York Yankees bats under control until the seventh inning on Tuesday night, but the floodgates opened just long enough to result in a 7-6 loss.

Jason Grilli entered with a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh and allowed the brunt of the damage, including a Chase Headley home run and Didi Gregorius RBI triple. This was a rare blip on the radar for the veteran Grilli, who has been one of the most reliable late-inning relievers in the American League since arriving in a mid-season trade from the Atlanta Braves. The right-hander was charged with four earned runs in just two thirds of an inning.

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Aaron Sanchez got the start and looked fairly strong despite giving up a pair of uncharacteristic home runs to Tyler Austin and Brian McCann. The 24-year-old pitched seven innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out four. Following Grilli, Bo Schultz recorded a strikeout for the final out of the eighth inning.

Toronto mounted a late comeback, though, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth and narrowly missing out on tying the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, Edwin Encarnacion singled home Jose Bautista to bring the Jays within two. Melvin Upton then singled to bring home Josh Donaldson and cut the deficit to one, but Blake Parker entered for Dellin Betances and struck out Kevin Pillar before forcing Justin Smoak to fly out for the final out of the game.

Encarnacion was responsible for some early fireworks, too, hitting his 37th home run of the season, a solo shot, in the top of the first inning. Bautista was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and an RBI while Pillar was 3-for-4 with a double, run scored, two RBI, and a walk. Surprisingly, that was Toronto’s only walk of the game.

Looking to avoid the sweep on Wednesday night, the Blue Jays send Marcus Stroman (9-6, 4.58 ERA) to the mound.

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