A game that featured an inconsistent strike zone and Marcus Stroman leaving the game early, it was a night to forget in the Bronx.
Then, the red-hot Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer to left field on the first pitch. That gave the Blue Jays had a 4-0 lead.
The Yankees crawled right back into the game with a Matt Holliday three-run home run on a 2-2 count. It was Holliday’s fifth homer of the season and his 300th career home run, cutting the Blue Jays lead to 4-3.
With the bases loaded in the top of the second, Russell Martin walked on a full count to score Darwin Barney. Kendrys Morales grounded into the fielders’ choice but no Yankee was covering first base as that scored another run for Toronto. The Blue Jays were up 6-3.
That lead would be cut to a one-run game in the bottom of the third after Aaron Judge pounded a two-run home run on a 2-0 count for his American League-leading 13th home run of the season. The Blue Jays were hanging onto a 6-5 lead.
Stroman got roughed up tonight. His final pitching line was 66 pitches thrown in three innings pitched, five earned runs on five hits, three breaking balls, and two strikeouts. Ryan Tepera took over for him in the bottom of the fourth.
Stroman reportedly left the game armpit discomfort in his throwing arm. No further details have been released but we will let you know as soon as there’s more information.
Sabathia let two men on base in the top of the fifth. That would end his night as the lefty pitched four innings, allowed six runs on seven hits, four breaking balls, and five strikeouts. Adam Warren got out of Sabathia’s jam to end the top half of the inning.
Tepera left the game in disappointment after he loaded up the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning. Joe Biagini came into the situation and struck out the only batter he faced in that inning.
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Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected from the game after he tried to argue the home plate umpire’s strike zone. He’s not wrong, the strike zone got awfully wider as the game went along.
Biagini struck out five batters until Aaron Judge hit a single to right field. It all fell apart after Chris Carter hit a RBI single to tie up the game. Pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius hit an infield second off Biagini’s glove to score Chase Headley. The Yankees took over the lead 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh.
Betances would retire the Blue Jay’s in the top of the eighth then Roberto Osuna struck out the Yankee’s in the bottom of the eighth.
If the Blue Jays were thinking about taking back the lead, they had to go through Aroldis Chapman. Unfortunately, they didn’t get their chance of redemption. The final score was 8-6 Yankees.
Betances (3-1) was credited with the win, Biagini (0-1) was credited with the loss, and Chapman picked up his sixth save of the season.
A game in which they should have won, Toronto (9-19) watched a three-run lead evaporate in another battle of the bats. New York (17-9) now have sole possession of first place in the American League East.
The Blue Jays will have a much needed day off tomorrow before starting a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.