It sure wasn’t pretty, but the New York Yankees won their fourth straight series with a scrappy 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. It was a quick getaway day for the Yankees, as rookies Domingo German and Ryan Borucki combined for a surprising pitchers’ duel.
The Yankees got an early run as Aaron Judge ripped a single up the middle and Giancarlo Stanton swatted a double off the right field wall. Miguel Andujar, in his first game batting cleanup, drove the run in with a groundout, giving German a 1-0 lead before he even threw a pitch. The Blue Jays threatened to get it back in the bottom of the inning after a deep Justin Smoak double, but German got Kendrys Morales to whiff, preserving the lead.
Borucki had pitched well in his first few starts, but the Yankees entered the game 22-6 against left-handers, posing a stiff test for the 24-year-old southpaw. While the Yankees hit Borucki hard early, he showed a penchant for getting out of jams and settled in as the game went on, finishing with seven innings of one-run ball. German was also up to the task for the Yankees, tossing just 33 pitches for his first three innings of scoreless work.
German needed to throw almost as many pitches in the fourth inning alone to get out of a bases loaded jam after Smoak singled and German issued walks to Russell Martin and Randal Grichuk. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. came up with the bases loaded and whiffed on a curveball to leave the bases full. Domingo finished his Sunday with six innings of one-run ball, notching five strikeouts in the process. His bats just couldn’t get him the run support needed for a win, though.
In the middle innings, Borucki continued to allow baserunners and the Yankees continued to strand them, as double plays by Brandon Drury and Stanton in the fourth and fifth innings killed potential rallies. German responded by tossing two scoreless frames of his own.
After the Yankees were again set down by Borucki in the sixth, the Jays finally scored on Kendrys Morales’ 200th career home run, a no-doubter deep to right that tied the game at one apiece. Adam Warren came in for the seventh inning, and promptly allowed a leadoff double to Gurriel. He would bounce back however, striking out the next two batters and inducing a pop up from Yangervis Solarte to strand the go-ahead run at second base.
The Yankees would continue their offensive ineptitude in the eighth as another Stanton double play erased Judge’s leadoff single. The Jays didn’t fare much better though, as a Morales single was wasted after Warren picked off pinch runner Aledmys Diaz. No team scored in the next inning, sending this one to extra innings.
The Yankees would resort to National League-style offense to take the lead. Tyler Clippard came in for the Jays in the 10th, and hit Greg Bird with a pitch to lead off the inning. Tyler Wade entered to pinch run, and Austin Romine bunted him over, setting up yet another chance for the Yankees to drive home a runner in scoring position. This time, the Yankees came through.
Brett Gardner smacked a hanging 1-1 changeup into left field for a base hit, easily scoring the speedy Wade to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. David Robertson came in and notched an easy save to give the Yankees a hard-fought series victory. While the offense went silent, the pitching staff deserves major credit for bailing out the missing bats.
Next up, the Yankees will keep the road trip going. A single-admission doubleheader in Baltimore will kick off a four-games-in-three-days series at Oriole Park. CC Sabathia will pitch the first game at 4:05 for the Yankees, while Luis Cessa will start the second about 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.