Remember the walk-off grand slam? That was fun. Unfortunately, it was not a cure for all that ails the Yankees right now. The usual Toronto villains George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. burned them with the bats, and the New York hitters were unable to muster much of anything off of the previously struggling José Berríos. Unhappy days are here again as the Yankees lost a game that never felt close, 9-2, and dropped to a horrid 4-12 in August.
It looked like Springer had burned underwhelming trade acquisition Frankie Montas from the very start of the game. He led off the first inning with a double, giving the Jays a prime opportunity to score early with his first of five hits on the night (his fourth career five-hit game, but somehow only his first against New York). But Guerrero hit a soft tapper back to Montas, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. grounded out, and Alejandro Kirk struck out looking to keep the game scoreless.
After Berríos threw a scoreless first, Montas found his one big blow-up inning. Teoscar Hernández began things with a single. Montas was able to strike out Bo Bichette, but then Matt Chapman doubled to put runners on second and third. Santiago Espinal followed with a groundball to Oswaldo Cabrera, and they chose to get Chapman out in a rundown and let a run score.
Two outs and a runner on first — no big deal, right? The problem was that Montas followed up by walking No. 9 hitter Whit Merrifield, which is a gigantic mistake with the top of the Jays’ order behind him.
Springer came back up and blooped a single into center field, scoring one run. That sent Vlad to the dish, who did what he always seems to do against the Yankees and mashed a home run. All of a sudden, it was 5-0.
The Yankees at least were able to respond with two runs in the third, though they had a bit of help. Jose Trevino started things off with a walk, and Berríos hit Estevan Florial with a pitch. DJ LeMahieu then hit an odd infield popup that fell into no man’s land on the infield grass. Berríos was the first to get it, but he threw the ball way past first, allowing Trevino to score and Florial to advance to third.
Aaron Judge followed with a force out at second to score Florial and make it 5-2. Unfortunately, that was all they could get that inning, and with the New York offense returning to its pre-Wednesday night woes, they never scored again.
Montas looked like he was settling down after the second, pitching quick and scoreless innings. But he was simply allowing too many hits, and it came back to bite him again in the fifth. The inning started with a single from Springer — who else? Vladito. followed up with what could have been a double play ball to Cabrera, but his shovel throw to second went a little high and the slow-footed Guerrero was able to beat the throw to first.
Gurriel singled to right field, and because Guerrero was running on the pitch he was able to advance to third, just beating a typical Judge rocket throw. Alejandro Kirk followed with a loud double to left, bringing in the Jays’ sixth run.
The lone real Yankees highlight came when Cabrera notched his first career MLB hit with a very well-struck double in the fourth! That was nice!
Anthony Rizzo lead off the bottom of the sixth with a double, but in the blink of an eye Benintendi, Donaldson, and Gleyber Torres made outs. At least Benintendi hit a hard fly ball to the outfield — Donaldson and Torres simply went down on strikes.
Montas with pulled with six innings pitched, six earned runs, eight hits, two strikeouts, and one walk. It was his longest start as a Yankee, at least. That’s about the only positive.
Albert Abreu came on to pitch the seventh and unsurprisingly, the wheels came off. Springer led off with a single again to begin things. Guerrero then hit what looked like a perfect double play ball to Donaldson, but LeMahieu somehow completely missed his throw to second — it did not look very off-line, if at all — and it rolled into right field, putting runners on second and third.
Gurriel walked to load the bases with none out, and Kirk lifted a fly ball to deep right that for a horrible second looked like it might be a porch grand slam, but Judge caught it and it was a sacrifice fly. 7-2, Jays. Hernández came through with a double soon after to drive in two more. 9-2. Mercifully, that was the end of the Toronto scoring.
The Yanks had their next best chance to score in the bottom of the seventh after Cabrera and LeMahieu singles to bring up Judge with two outs. Berríos was pulled for Anthony Bass, who promptly struck him out swinging. Berríos finished with 6.2 innings pitched, one earned run, one walk, and nine strikeouts.
Former starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi put Rizzo and Donaldson on base with zero outs to start the eighth on a walk and a single, but no one behind them could move them up, let alone drive them in. Jordan Romano quickly iced the ballgame the ninth to secure Toronto’s 9-2 triumph.
Those good vibes were fun while they lasted, huh? The Blue Jays and the also-victorious Rays are now nine games behind the Yankees in the AL East. The Yankees will meet Toronto again tomorrow at 7:05 ET, with Jameson Taillon facing Kevin Gausman.