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Blue Jays Hold On To Early Lead, Win Series Against Yankees

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough loss yesterday, the Blue Jays managed to hang on to an early lead and win the series against the Yankees. The Jays stormed out to the quick lead in the second, scoring four runs off of C.C. Sabathia. Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson opened the inning with singles, before Danny Valencia stepped to the plate. Valencia hit a ground ball that looked as if it could lead to a double play, but the ball deflected off of Sabathia's glove for a single. A Kevin Pillar single, RBI ground-outs from Steve Tolleson and Devon Travis, and a single from Jose Reyes followed to give the Blue Jays the 4-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, J.R. Murphy doubled on a fly ball to left field. Though it would have been a tough catch, a stronger fielder than Steve Tolleson probably makes the play. Didi Gregorius then hit a RBI single to centre, pulling the Yankees to within three. On the play, Kevin Pillar was able to hit the cut-off man, while Devon Travis sprinted from second base to first base before tagging out Gregorius on the relay. It is great to see strong defence from both Travis and Pillar, each playing strong fundamental baseball.

Daniel Norris did bring his incredible repertoire, though he did struggle with his command at times. The Blue Jays' lead felt comfortable until the sixth, when Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira each homered to make it a 5-3 game. Norris then hit Chris Young, which ended his night. Roberto Osuna entered the game to give up a double to J.R. Murphy, but he managed to strike out Stephen Drew and strand the tying runner at second.

Osuna, Cecil, and Castro kept the Yankees off of the board the rest of the way, while an Edwin Encarnacion solo shot provided the Jays with a valuable insurance run late in the game.

On Offence

  • Jose Reyes: 2 for 4, 2 singles, K, fly out.
  • Russell Martin: 0 for 4, ground out, 2 Ks, and then grounded into a double play.
  • Jose Bautista: 0 for 4, 2 Ks, ground out to the pitcher, and a lineout to RF.
  • Edwin Encarnacion: 2 for 4, HR, single, fly out, K. Hit a solo shot of Esmil Rogers in the 8th that put the Jays up by 3. His second home run of the series.
  • Josh Donaldson: 2 for 4, two singles, two groundouts. One of his singles was an infield hit.
  • Danny Valencia: 2 for 3, two singles, K. His first hit looked like a potential double play ball before deflecting off of Sabathia's glove. His second hit was a softly hit ground ball that somehow got through the infield.
  • Kevin Pillar: 1 for 4, bases-loaded line drive single, K, foul out, soft line out.
  • Steve Tolleson: 0 for 2, softly hit RBI ground out, K.
  • Devon Travis: 0 for 3, two infield flies. Able to make contact on a 2-strike count for an RBI ground out. Nearly hit a solo home run in the fifth and a double in the 7th, but both went foul.
  • Dalton Pompey: 0 for 2, fly out, foul out. Came in defensively for Tolleson in the 6th, moving Pillar to LF.
  • Justin Smoak: 0 for 1, K.


  • Daniel Norris: 5.2 IP, 6H, 3 ER, 5 K, 2 BB. Quite a bit of success before the 6th inning. Plenty of stuff, but fringy command.
  • Roberto Osuna: 1.1 IP/ 1 H/ 1 BB/ 3K. Gave up a double to Chris Young, but struck out Drew to strand two base runners in scoring position. Much like Norris, he showcased very questionable command. To his credit, he is probably not used to pitching on back-to-back days.
  • Brett Cecil: 1 IP, 2K, BB. A much better eighth inning this time around.
  • Miguel Castro: Pitched a clean inning in the ninth, to close out the win for the Blue Jays. He has been extremely impressive thus far.

Jays of the day are Danny Valencia (1.32 WPA) & Roberto Osuna (1.05). I will also give one to Edwin Encarnacion who just missed (0.96) and is probably more deserving. Every Blue Jay avoided "Suckage" territory.

The Blue Jays will now head to Baltimore for a three game series. Mark Buehrle goes up against Bud Norris in game one, which will get underway at 3:05 pm eastern time.