For the first time in almost exactly a month, the Yankees have won three straight games. They beat the Blue Jays by the score of 5-3 on Friday night thanks to some timely hits and a bad error by Toronto. Let’s recap the win:
- #HIROK Solid: In what was likely the second to last start of his Yankees career, Hiroki Kuroda gave the team 6.2 innings of three-run (two earned) ball. He did serve up a two-run homer off the foul pole to Edwin Encarnacion in the first inning, but after that only five Blue Jays reached base in his final 6.1 innings. Kuroda struck out seven, didn’t walk anyone, and recorded 15 of his 20 outs on the infield. Rock solid, as usual. I’m really gonna miss this guy.
- Homer, Error: The Yankees bounced right back and scored a run in the bottom of the first after Encarnacion’s homer in the top half. Brian McCann‘s single against the shift did the honors. In the third inning, they took the lead for good on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s two-run homer. He nearly homered in his first at-bat but had to settle for a double off the wall. Then, an inning later, Ellsbury grounded into what looked like a potential inning-ending double play with the bases loaded, but Jose Reyes’ throw sailed wide of first and allowed two runs to score. Ellsbury scored their first run and had the plate appearances that resulted in the other four.
- Patchwork Bullpen: Dellin Betances and David Robertson were both unavailable due to their recent workloads, forcing Joe Girardi to turn to his B-team relievers. Esmil Rogers walked Jose Bautista to load the bases with two outs in the seventh before getting Encarnacion to bounce out to short to end the inning. That was scary. Rogers got the first out of the eighth inning before giving way to Adam Warren, who struck out two with a man on third before throwing a perfect ninth as well. He was outstanding. As good as he’s looked all season. Nice job by Rogers to escape that seventh inning jam and nice job by Warren in general.
- Leftovers: Ellsbury left the game with a hamstring strain after running out the Reyes error ball. Girardi said there is a “distinct possibility” his season is over. Bummer … Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 and flew out to the warning track in left. I thought it was gone off the bat … Brett Gardner, meanwhile, went 0-for-4 and is in an 0-for-27 slump. He hasn’t hit since coming back from the abdominal strain … Ellsbury went 2-for-3 with a double and homer. McCann, Mark Teixeira, Stephen Drew, and Ichiro Suzuki had the other hits.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other game stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees now have a two-game lead over the Blue Jays for second place in the AL East and they will be four games back of the second wildcard spot once the Tigers are finished demolishing the Royals. Their elimination number remains six with nine games to play. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 0.5%. Chris Capuano and Marcus Stroman will be the pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon. There are only six home games left in the season/Jeter’s career. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch any of them live.