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Blue Jays slam Yankees 9-0 in series opener

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The Blue Jays returned home in a big way with a 9-0 victory over their AL East rival New York Yankees.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

After a mediocre road trip that saw the Blue Jays win four of seven games, the club returned home for their final home stand of the 2016 campaign.

Facing them was a Wild Card threat and American League East rival, the New York Yankees. Getting the start for the Blue Jays was Francisco Liriano who has quietly been a solid upgrade since joining the Blue Jays at this year's trade deadline. Heading into the night, Liriano commanded a 1-2 record with the Blue Jays to go with a tidy 3.89 ERA.

Despite juggling an opening ground rule double to go with a pair of walks, Liriano was able to keep the Yankees' offence off the board. The Blue Jays gave their starter the offensive backing he needed in the home half thanks to a 2-0 run clutch single off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki.

The Blue Jays added another in the second on a bases loaded walk while Liriano continued to show all the benefits of bending not breaking. Cruising through the 5th inning, Liriano had retired the last seven hitters in a row before allowing a single to Gary Sanchez (he'll be forgiven). At the end of his night, his line manifest an impressive six innings pitched, allowing only three hits while striking out six and walking a pair.

While only a 3-0 lead at this point, the 2015 offence showed up in the 7th in a big way. Starting the inning was Ezequiel Carrera with a signature Zeke bunt single, followed by a single off the bat of Travis. After the Yankees intentionally walked Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista made them pay with a double down the left-field line that cashed two more Jays runs to widen the gap to 5-0. Tulowitzki added another two RBI with a single the other way to cement the Jays lead 7-0 and remove any chance at a Yankees comeback.

Joaquin Benoit and Brett Cecil teamed up for some perfect relief work in the 7th and 8th innings before giving way to Danny Barnes in the 9th to close out the Jays victory.

Oh, I almost forgot. Josh Donaldson decided to add insult to scoreboard beating with a two-run home run in the 8th inning to make it 9-0.

Friday night offered a certain level of comfortability as a Jays fan that was sorely needed. After a tough 2-1 loss to close out the road trip in Seattle, you'd be forgiven if you were nervous heading into the series against the Yankees. Then the 2015 offence showed up and your worries were thrown away faster than a Christmas tree in January. It was a great feeling to see the Blue Jays beat a team from start to finish and do so with utter dominance.

Will it last? I don't know. As the game of baseball dictates, tomorrow is another day that has little to nothing to do with tonight. But that doesn't mean you can't celebrate tonight.

Jays of the Day:

Francisco Liriano (WPA 0.280). You really can't complain about the work he's done since becoming a Blue Jay. Ask him to be a reliever? Done. Go back to being a starter? Done. His command has improved and his slider and changeup continue to pose as dominant weapons for the Jays moving forward. 

Troy Tulowitzki (WPA 0.125) There's something about the bat of Troy Tulowtizki that's comforting more than others. That doesn't really make sense but it's true. For a guy who's still hovering around the .250 batting average mark, it's always good to see any chance at slightly bumping that up.

Suckage:

This is a hard to give away in a 9-0 win. I guess you could give it to Michael Saunders for going 0-2 with a walk.


Source: FanGraphs