The top of the first inning looked like an extension of the Rays series, but the Yankees’ offense came alive and did more than enough to win before the rain finished this one after seven innings.
Showing some fight
After half an inning, the Bombers found themselves down four runs and staring a three-game losing streak in the face. However, Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays let the Yanks right back into this one.
With two outs in the first, Aaron Hicks drew a walk before Didi Gregorius lined one towards the left-center field gap. A run might not have scored, but Kevin Pillar misplayed this one, letting it roll all the way to the wall for a triple. Miguel Andujar hit one over Curtis Granderson’s head for a double and boom, it’s 4-2.
It stayed that way until the fourth, when Gleyber Torres lined a double and Greg Bird fought from down in the count to walk. Impressive from both Torres and Bird, both of whom have been struggling mightily recently. The Yankees need them both over the next few months.
Neil Walker came up with two men on and promptly took Stroman deep to right, giving the Yankees their first lead in 22 innings. They’d get another hit off Stroman, yet they couldn’t push across another run.
After the Jays tied it an inning later, Hicks took a leadoff walk from Joe Biagini and went to third on a hit-and-run single from Andujar. He’s raking right now. Torres put the Yanks ahead for good with a fielder’s choice.
The last run of the night came on the penultimate at-bat. Giancarlo Stanton beckoned the heavens to open with a mammoth slam to right-center. His ball carried over the Yankees’ bullpen and into the section next to the bleachers. This deserves another look.
After a Hicks strikeout, the rain came down and the game was called after an 85-minute delay.
Not so Lynnsane
Lance Lynn’s night can be divided into two parts: His awful first inning and a fine last 3+ frames. He simply didn’t have much command to open the game, issuing three free passes while giving up three singles. Kendrys Morales had a line drive single while Kevin Pillar and Aledmys Diaz each had tough-luck hits that fell in.
The damage wouldn’t have been quite so much if it weren’t yet another defensive miscue from a Yankee rookie. On Morales’ single, Brett Gardner fielded a carom off the left field stands well and threw behind Justin Smoak, catching him off the base. However, Torres couldn’t reel in the throw and Smoak skated in safely.
Regardless, Lynn did what a plucky veteran does: He settled down and gave the Yankees a little bit of length. Despite throwing 37 pitches in the first, he was able to rebound, facing the minimum over the next three innings. He mixed in a double play in the third
He came into the fifth at 91 pitches and was promptly knocked out of the game on a line drive double by Granderson and a single by Smoak. Smoak’s grounder should have been stopped by Bird and wouldn’t have scored Granderson if someone other than Walker was in right. The third base coach knew to test Walker and was rewarded with Granderson just beating the throw. That was all for Lynn, who struck out five in his first clunker in pinstripes.
The Yankees faced needing five innings from the bullpen, but it handled it with aplomb. Chad Green returned to form in the fifth. He allowed a single to Russell Martin but struck out Morales and induced two easy flies to Hicks. The righty then gave the Yankees another clean inning and handed the ball to David Robertson.
Robertson was the best he’s been in recent weeks, not that he’s struggled quite as much as the likes of Green or Zach Britton have. He struck out both Granderson and Smoak easily and had his breaking ball working. Thanks to the rain, the Yankees needed just three innings out of the bullpen (and Robertson gets a save!). Everyone outside of Green and Robertson should be fresh for Saturday.
Stanton and Andujar each had two hits while Walker (homer) Gregorius (triple), Torres (double) and Gardner (single) combined for the cycle with their singular hits. Hicks drew two walks, Bird drew one and Austin Romine was the only player not to get in on the action.
The Yankees really hit Marcus Stroman, don’t they? Since the start of 2016, he’s allowed 22 runs in 26 1/3 innings at Yankee Stadium, good for a 7.52 ERA. He’s 0-4 in six starts in that span and the Jays are 0-6 in those games.
Finally, that was the Yankees’ first rain-shortened game since a 2-1 win over the Rangers on July 23, 2014.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
After the Yankees honor the 1998 championship team, it’ll be Luis Severino facing off against rookie RHP Sean Reid-Foley, making just his first career start. It’ll be a 1 PM ET start on YES (MLB Network for those out of town). There are scattered thunderstorms potentially throughout the afternoon, so maybe more of the same is coming to the Bronx.