The Yankees have a tendency to struggle when facing a pitcher for the first time, but that wasn’t the case today. They wasted no time getting to Sean Reid-Foley. In fact, they scored at least one run every inning through the first five. At one point the Bombers had an 8-0 lead, and it looked like they were going to cruise to an easy win.
Of course, nothing with this team has been easy lately. Luis Severino finally put together a solid outing, but Aaron Boone left him in too long. The bullpen didn’t help the situation, and the Blue Jays scored five runs in the sixth. The Yankees were ultimately able to hang on for the win, though.
Brett Gardner started things off with a leadoff walk in the first, then Didi Gregorius launched a home run into the bullpen to give the Bombers an early 2-0 lead. In the second, Gleyber Torres singled, stole second base, and advanced to third on a throwing error before scoring on an Austin Romine sac fly.
The bottom of the third started in amusing fashion when Teoscar Hernandez took an odd route on a Giancarlo Stanton fly ball, allowing it to drop in for a single. Aaron Hicks worked a walk, then Miguel Andujar blasted his 36th double of the season to put the Yankees up 5-0. With Andujar on third, Greg Bird did something useful and hit a weak RBI grounder up the middle. The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the fourth and fifth thanks to solo shots off the bats of Stanton and Andujar.
On top of a good day for the offense, Severino also put together his best outing over the past six weeks. His slider looked better, and he was mixing in quality changeups. He racked up seven strikeouts through the first four innings, but struggled a bit through the fifth. After giving up back-to-back singles, he then had a ten-pitch battle against Billy McKinney before finally getting the strikeout. Sevy was able to escape without surrendering a run, and had a chance to finish his day on a positive note. Instead, Aaron Boone decided to bring him back out for the sixth. That was a mistake.
Curtis Granderson led off with a double to left. The ball kicked off the wall and rolled away from Gardner. When he caught back up to it, he wasn’t able to get a glove on it, and it rolled away again allowing Grandy to take third. Sevy was allowed to face Justin Smoak, who hit an RBI single to put the Blue Jays on the board. Tommy Kahnle took over and gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases. There’s a good chance he will be optioned after the game.
Boone had to turn to Jonathan Holder for the last out. Our old friend McKinney singled to right, but Neil Walker misplayed the ball. He ran up too close to it, and the ball bounced by him to clear the bases. Luckily, McKinney was thrown out at third to end it.
Both bullpens settled down for a couple of innings after that before the Yankees expanded their lead in the eighth. Bird showed signs of life with a leadoff home run to right field. Walker and Kyle Higashioka hit back-to-back singles before Stanton was plunked in the arm to load the bases. Hicks walked to force in a run, and Gregorius hit a sac fly to make it an 11-5 game.
For awhile it had looked like Aroldis Chapman would be needed to close the game, but A.J. Cole came out instead. He promptly gave up three hits and allowed Toronto to score their sixth and final run of the game.
The Yankees also had an injury scare today. During the fifth inning, Austin Romine took a foul ball off his face mask. The ball knocked the mask off, and Romine immediately jumped up in pain. The home plate ump had to grab him by the armpits to keep him from hitting the ground. They initially decided to leave him in the game, but Higashioka did replace him in the sixth. The Yankees seem to think he is fine, but he will have tomorrow off. Head injuries aren’t something to mess around with. Hopefully he is okay.
The Yankees will have a chance to sweep the series tomorrow with J.A. Happ set to take the mound opposite of Ryan Borucki. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 ET and you can catch the game on YES.