The Toronto Blue Jays (77-59) entered Monday's afternoon Labour Day tilt in New York with the Yankees (70-65) sitting 1-game up in the ALE, but also coming off a rather lackluster series with the Tampa Bay Rays.
To the mound for the Jays goes R.A Dickey (9-13 with a 4.43 ERA). He's coming off a fairly good August (2-1 with a 3.41 ERA) but has notoriously struggled to get any help against the Yankees (6-5 with a 2.72 ERA, for his career, 1-5 in Yankee Stadium, 0-5 since joining the Blue Jays, and the team averages just a hair over 1-run of support for the knuckleballer).
For the Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka (11-4 with a 3.12 ERA on the season).
(BOXSCORE for Mobile)
The Jays didn't take long to try and break the trend of not scoring for Dickey as, in the 1st inning, Devon Travis led the game off (FINALLY!) with a double, which then led to him scoring on Jose Bautista's single. An Edwin single gave the Jays runners on the corners for Michael Saunders but Bautista (on what may have been an ill-advised attempt to score) was thrown out at the plate on a chopper to First. Then Kevin Pillar slowly rolled out to the First to end the inning.
1-0 Blue Jays
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a Yankee Stadium special in the bottom half of the inning to erase the Jays lead and give the Yankees one of their own. The trouble continued with a Gary Sanchez single but he was erased on the 21st double play induced by Dickey on the season, which allowed him to get out of the inning without any more damage.
The Yanks added to their lead in the 3rd after a Tyler Austin double when Ellsbury (yes, again) drove the young 1B in with an RBI single to right.
In the 4th the Yankees would threaten again with a Starlin Castro single and Austin Romine walk. Austin doubled to cash in the pair and further extend the Sith's lead.
Dickey's night came to an end after just four innings. His final line: 4 IP, 5 ER on 7 H, 5 K and 1 BB. Left in line for the loss.
Francisco Liriano entered the game in relief.
Tanaka was finished in the 7th after a walk to Ezequiel Carrera on his 105th pitch of the game. His final line: 6.1 IP, allowing two earned on 7 H, 4 K's and 3 BB. Jonathan Holder relieved him getting just one out and walking a pair to bring up Edwin Encarnacion with the bases loaded. Ben Heller came in to face Edwin.
Edwin managed to poke a ball into right field allowing Zeke and Carrera to score, narrowing the lead and giving the Jays the potential go-ahead run at the plate. Russell Martin pinch hit for Saunders as lefty Tommy Layne came on in relief for Heller. Layne managed to battle Martin to a full count and induce a weakly hit looper that Castro caught to end the inning.
Brett Cecil was the next Jays reliever out of the pen and worked a quiet 7th. Tyler Clippard came in to work the 8th for the Yankees did the same. Joaquin Benoit worked the bottom half for the Jays and managed to pitch around a 1-out walk to get through the inning. Finally, Dellin Betances, the Yankees closer, entered the game in the 9th.
While I’d love to report a big comeback, it was not to be. Jays fall to the Yankees.
Toronto Blue Jays 3 - 5 New York Yankees
Jays of the Day
Edwin Encarnacion (.126) had a pretty darn good game going 3-4 with 2 RBI.
R.A Dickey (-.293), Kevin Pillar (-.134), John Gibbons (because apparently he ‘punted’ this game)
Game Two of the series goes tomorrow with a 7:10pm first pitch. Aaron Sanchez (13-2 with a 2.88 ERA) takes the mound against Luis Cessa (4-0 and a 4.17 ERA).