A back and forth contest in the Bronx ended with the a Yankees victory as the Blue Jays were unable to recover from a rough first few innings. Mark Buehrle didn't pitch like his usual self, although he battled for six innings keeping Toronto in the game as long as he could. The team has now lost six games in a row sinking their record to an all-too-familiar mediocre mark of 77-76.
The Blue Jays struck in the first inning, which is becoming a trend recently even though they eventually wind up losing the game anyway. Edwin Encarnacion smashed a two-run homer to left field on the ugliest slider Hiroki Kuroda has ever thrown to make it 2-0 for the good guys:
As is the case anytime Toronto scores in the first inning they are obligated to give runs back in the bottom half so the other team doesn't feel too bad about themselves. A Jacoby Ellsbury double followed by a single by the G.O.A.T. followed by a Brian McCann single cut the Blue Jays lead in half before Buehrle was able to get a double play and a strikeout against Carlos Beltran to end the inning.
The bottom of the third inning saw the Yankees take the lead when Ellsbury hit a two-run home run deep into the New York night off one of Mark Buehrle's pitches that comes in around the mid-80's which cuts the choices to about four different possibilities. The next inning saw the Yankees score two more when Ellsbury (again!) hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded, which was compounded by a Jose Reyes throwing error that advanced the runners even further. It should be noted that Adam Lind did Reyes no favours by reacting to the throw about as well as the NFL reacts to anything.
Toronto got one back in the fifth to make it 5-3 when Jose Reyes stole second and advanced to third on a horrible throw by Yankees catcher Brian McCann, which was followed by Jose Bautista driving him home on a groundout.
The seventh inning was the big opportunity for the Blue Jays to retake the lead after the Blue Jays knocked Kuroda out of the game and loaded the bases with a Bautista walk against old friend Esmil Rogers. Edwin Encarnacion had a couple of healthy hacks at Rogers' slider but was unable to do any damage and grounded into a fielder's choice to end the rally. It should be noted that Jose Reyes hit a ground rule double earlier in the inning with Anthony Gose on first base that would have easily scored the Jays centre fielder if the ball hadn't gone over the wall/a Yankee fan hadn't reached out and grabbed the ball.
After the seventh the Blue Jays went down pretty quietly and look destined to lose another series as the season winds down. The final line for Buehrle was 6.0 innings with five runs allowed on eight hits. Todd Redmond and Aaron Loup pitched well enough in relief....but it didn't matter.
On the positive side, Dalton Pompey got his first hit in the majors in his first start. Buck and Pat were enamoured with the fact that Derek Jeter congratulated the young Pompey after the inning as well as touching the ball before it was thrown back to the dugout, which likely made a fair number of Blue Jays fans physically ill. Watch this video on mute:
Jose Reyes (.126 WPA) had the Jay of the Day number, while Buehrle (-.289) and Danny Valencia (-.133) share the Suckage Jays honour.
The game tomorrow is at 4:05 so the league office has a little bit more time to deal with the Marcus Stroman appeal for throwing at Caleb Joseph, but in all likelihood the Duke product will start the game opposing Chris Capuano.