The Blue Jays chased C.C. Sabathia from the game after three innings, and recorded eleven hits while holding the early lead. Josh Donaldson drove in all four runs for the Blue Jays with his fourteenth and fifteenth home runs of the year. It all started when Jose Bautista led off the 1st with a double; two batters later Donaldson homered to put the Jays on the board 2-0. Steve Pearce also doubled in that inning, but he and Justin Smoak were stranded in scoring position.
The Yankees took one run back in the 2nd with two singles, a double play which advanced a runner, and a Garrett Cooper RBI single. Sabathia shut down the Jays in order in the bottom half of that inning, but Russell Martin got to him again with a leadoff single in the 3rd. Donaldson cashed in Martin with another home run, increasing the Jays’ lead to 4-1. Bryan Mitchell took over in the 4th and wouldn’t allow any runs on four hits and a walk over 4.0 innings.
J.A. Happ took that lead into the 6th, and was pulled from the game with two outs after walking a pair of batters. Facing Dominic Leone, Todd Frazier hit an infield single that was originally ruled a groundout, but overturned on review. With the bases loaded, Leone got Cooper to fly out and escape with no damage. Happ’s final line was one run on four hits and four walks in 5.2 innings. He also recorded five strikeouts, including his 500th with Toronto. After Ryan Tepera hit the first two batters of the 8th, he walked Todd Frazier to load the bases with one out. Cooper drove in another run with a sac fly. Roberto Osuna got a lineout and two pop-outs to pick up the save.
Game 2: Wednesday, August 9th
Jays lose, 5-11
Losing Pitcher: Nick Tepesch
Making his first appearance with the Blue Jays, Nick Tepesch stranded a leadoff double in the 1st before allowing back-to-back homers to Gary Sanchez and Todd Frazier to start the 2nd. The Jays countered with a walk, double, and a Nori Aoki RBI groundout. Kevin Pillar was thrown out at home trying to score on a fielder’s choice. Didi Gregorius homered in the 3rd to put the Yankees up 3-1.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Toronto loaded the bases on catcher’s interference and two walks. Steve Pearce scored Raffy Lopez with a sac fly, but Kevin Pillar popped out to strand the other two. Ryan Goins made a highlight-reel grab and a strong throw to retire the first out of the 4th. New York got a pair of singles (one of which left Josh Donaldson sprawled on the infield dirt), but Tepesch stranded both. With one out in the 5th, Justin Smoak lost an Aaron Judge foul pop-up in the lights, and Judge walked on the next pitch. Gregorius doubled and Tepesch left those runners for Leonel Campos. Following a strikeout, Todd Frazier hit a two-run double. Jacoby Ellsbury also doubled to plate another run.
Jose Bautista homered to lead off the bottom of the 5th. Masahiro Tanaka was removed from the game after walking Donaldson, and the next three Jays struck out. Goins doubled in a run, then scored in the 6th, putting Toronto within a run. J.P. Howell was tasked with maintaining the close score, but let an inherited runner score, plus another, on a Ronald Torreyes single. In the 9th inning, Taylor Cole made his major-league debut pitching for the Blue Jays. He loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batter before an RBI groundout for the first out of the inning. Another single scored two more runs, reaching a final of 11-5 for the Yankees.
Game 3: Thursday, August 10 (Day game)
JAYS WIN!! 4-0
Winning Pitcher: Marco Estrada
In his third consecutive start of seven innings, Estrada blanked the Yankees on five hits and three walks. He stranded a walk and a double in the 1st, then another double in the 2nd. Ezequiel Carrera doubled that same inning, then moved to third on a pickoff error by the pitcher Sonny Gray. Ryan Goins drove him in with a fielder’s choice. The Jays padded that lead when Jose Bautista walked, stole second, and scored on a Josh Donaldson single.
Kevin Pillar drove in the next run, with a one-out single in the 4th. Estrada narrowly avoided runs as he put two runners aboard in each of the 5th and 6th inning with one or fewer out. Bautista hit another home run in the 7th, his second of the series.
Ryan Tepera and Roberto Osuna each pitched scoreless innings. Osuna allowed two walks, but got three strikeouts. The Jays tallied five hits, four walks, and stranded four; the Yankees had six hits, five walks and stranded eleven.
Cesar Valdez went on the disabled list before this series, and Leonel Campos was called up in his place. It was also announced that Troy Tulowitzki‘s injured ankle would likely mean the end of his season.
After his debut of 1.0 innings, in which he gave up four runs on six hits and had one walk and one strikeout, Taylor Cole was placed on the disabled list with a fractured toe. Chris Smith was his replacement.
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- The Blue Jays set a new franchise record when Raffy Lopez became their sixth catcher to start a game in the season (The others were Russell Martin, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Luke Maile, Mike Ohlman and Miguel Montero).
My Favourite Player(s) of the week: Estrada/Bautista/Pearce/Donaldson
Marco Estrada had one of his best starts of the year on Thursday, a scoreless outing of 7.0 innings on five hits. Considering he’d struggled over the last month or so with longevity in his starts, three outings back to back of seven innings each is an encouraging sign. He walked three and struck out six.
Jose Bautista had home runs in two consecutive games in this series, and three of his last four.
Steve Pearce had four hits in ten at-bats this series, with one RBI, a double, and two walks. He also scored twice.
Josh Donaldson was 5-for-13 in the series, knockin in six runs including a pair of homers. He also walked four times.
Where We Are Now:
Last in the AL East, 11 games back of Boston, and 4 games back of the second AL Wild Card (with six teams ahead of them)
The good news is, winning a series against one of the teams ahead of them helps their cause for that wild card. And winning against the Yankees is always fun!
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