Despite only one team ever leading, it really felt like a back and forth game. Once the Yankees took the lead in the second inning, they never trailed or were tied again. It just took a while to get any separation.
The Yankees scored in the second, third and fifth innings. The Blue Jays answered back in all those innings, and got within one run three separate times. Eventually, the Yankees put Toronto away in the late inning and came away with an 11-5 win. The journey there was a bit long.
In the second inning, Gary Sanchez and Todd Frazier led off with back-to-back home runs, giving the Yankees an early lead. Toronto then got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. After a walk and a Kevin Pillar double, Nori Aoki grounded out, scoring a run. The Blue Jays nearly got another run after a rundown was nearly botched. The Yankees eventually finished the play, and Tanaka got out of the inning with the lead intact.
The Yankees would get that run right back in the third. Didi Gregorius led off the inning with another home run, taking the lead back out to two runs.
Like they just had the inning before, the Blue Jays then answered right back. A catcher’s interference on Sanchez and two walks loaded the bases with one out in the inning. Steve Pearce then skied one to right. Aaron Judge caught it for the second out, but his throw wasn’t good enough to keep a run from scoring. Tanaka again got out of it with the Yankees ahead, but again the lead had been cut in half.
In the fifth, the Yankees re-added to the lead. With one out in the inning, Judge walked and Gregorius doubled. Those at bats chased Toronto starter Nick Tepesch from the game. That move did not quite have the desired effect for the Blue Jays. Leonel Campos came and got an out, but then allowed to two-run double to Frazier. Ellsbury picked up a double of his own, scoring Frazier. The inning ended with the Yankees’ lead up to four runs.
Unsurprisingly, the Blue Jays also scored in that inning. Jose Bautista led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer. After Tanaka walked the next hitter he faced, Joe Girardi decided to go to the bullpen. Tanaka allowed the three runs on two hits and five walks in his four innings. More than anything it was the walks that hurt him. Both runs came in part due to them, and his pitch count had reached the high 80s when he was removed. Chad Green came in for Tanaka and got out of the fifth fairly easily.
Green returned for the sixth inning, but allowed a run after a single and a Ryan Goins double. That caused Girardi to go back to the bullpen and bring in Tommy Kahnle.
Since the trade, Kahnle has been excellent, but he struggled in this outing. In the very first at bat, Kahnle threw a wild pitch that moved a runner to third and then walked the batter. Josh Donaldson singled, brining home another run, and cutting the Yankees’ lead to just one run. Kahnle finally managed to get out of it, striking out Justin Smoak to end the inning.
For the first time since the first inning, the Blue Jays didn’t put any runners on in the seventh, as David Robertson threw a clean inning against the heart of the order.
In the eighth, the Yankees scored some needed insurance runs. Frazier led off the inning with a single, moving to third two batters later when Garrett Cooper doubled. A Ronald Torreyes single then scored them both, giving the Yankees some breathing room.
Dellin Betances pitched the bottom of the eighth for the Yankees. He hit the first batter he faced, but induced a double play and got a strikeout to escape the inning damage free.
The Yankees broke the game open in the ninth with three more runs. Cooper picked up his fourth hit of the night, bringing home two runs on a single.
As the game neared the four hour mark, Adam Warren finished off a win. He put a couple runners on, but he sealed an 11-5 victory, keeping Toronto off the board in the ninth.
Tomorrow in the rubber game of the series, Sonny Gray will make his second start as a Yankee.