Series Sum-Up: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

Teoscar Hernandez homered in the first game of the Toronto Blue Jays' two-game set against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer (FILE PHOTO)

Teoscar Hernandez homered in the first game of the Toronto Blue Jays' two-game set against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer (FILE PHOTO)

By Emily @JaysGirlEmily

Blue Jays from Away

Game 1: Tuesday, June 5
Jays lose, 2-7
Starting Pitcher: Marco Estrada
Losing Pitcher: Seunghwan Oh

Every run in this game was scored by a home run, and each team only hit two. Marco Estrada and C.C. Sabathia kept it scoreless through five innings. Though Estrada had given up a few doubles, he limited the Yankees to one hit per inning, and Russell Martin helped out his pitcher by gunning down two runners – Tyler Austin in the fifth, and Brett Gardner in the sixth.

Sabathia was the first to allow a run, when Teoscar Hernandez went deep with one out in the sixth. That was just the second hit Sabathia allowed, after Yangervis Solarte singled in the first, and the only other baserunner up to that point for the Jays was a Justin Smoak walk in the fourth. Estrada left the game after the leadoff man singled in the seventh. Seunghwan Oh was brought in, hit the first batter, and walked the next, loading the bases. Then Miguel Andujar hit a first-pitch grand slam to put the Yankees ahead 4-1.

Kevin Pillar cut the lead to two with a solo homer, but Aaron Loup surrendered a three-run homer to Aaron Hicks in the eighth. One of those runs was charged to Joe Biagini, who threw 2/3 of an inning and gave up a single. Sabathia was done after the seventh, having allowed the only three hits the Blue Jays would have in the game, one walk, plus five Ks. The Yankee batters had nine hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts.

Game 2: Wednesday, June 6

Jays lose, 0-3 (13 innings)
Starting Pitcher: Sam Gaviglio
Losing Pitcher: Joe Biagini

Sam Gaviglio wowed in his fourth start with the Blue Jays, keeping MLB’s strongest offence scoreless over seven innings of work. Unfortunately for Toronto, Sonny Gray also had a strong start, one-upping Gaviglio by lasting eight shutout innings. Gray actually retired 12 consecutive batters to start the game. Gaviglio didn’t allow a hit until the 4th, but he did walk a pair in the second. With runners at the corners and two out, Devon Travis made an incredible sliding stop on a ground ball, shovelling to second base for the force out to end the inning.

Gaviglio stranded a ground-rule double in the fourth, but got into a jam in the fifth with two outs. Gleyber Torres singled, then Brett Gardner hit a slow-rolling grounder up the first-base line that Gaviglio didn’t field. Next a wild pitch advanced the runners, and he loaded the bases by walking Aaron Judge, but got an easy ground out to escape without allowing a run. In the bottom half of that inning, Justin Smoak led off with the Jays’ first hit, a double, then Kendrys Morales singled. Smoak tried to score on a ground ball to third, but was cut down at the plate while Kevin Pillar reached on the fielder’s choice. After Russell Martin walked to load the bases, Travis hit into an inning-ending double play. Another double play would erase a walk in the next inning.

In two innings of work, Ryan Tepera allowed just one hit, a single to Didi Gregorius. Gregorius was then thrown out trying to steal, ending the top of the ninth inning. Chad Green was the first reliever in the game for New York, and threw two perfect innings. Tyler Clippard allowed a leadoff double in the 10th, got two outs, then turned it over to Tim Mayza, who stranded the runner.

After Teoscar Hernandez made an amazing sliding catch in foul territory for the second out of the 11th, John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) walked Giancarlo Stanton, then threw a pair of wild pitches allowing Stanton to get to third, where he was stranded. Travis singled and stole second in the next frame, but was left there when Aledmys Diaz struck out. The Jays turned a double play in the 12th, but Joe Biagini came in for the 13th and allowed three hits, two of which were homers to Judge and Stanton. The first hit was a one-out single to Gardner, who Judge then drove in. The Blue Jays got only four hits all game, including a Morales double against the New York closer.

Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

Tuesday’s game marks the first time ever that the Yankees and Blue Jays went to extra innings in a scoreless tie while playing each other

My favourite player(s) this series: Estrada/Gaviglio

Marco Estrada showed flashes of the pitcher we’ve come to know and love in his start in Game 1. Going six-plus innings, his lone run was an inherited runner that Seunghwan Oh allowed to score. Estrada allowed six hits, struck out six, and didn’t walk anybody. He threw 63 of 97 pitches for strikes, and managed to dominate the Yankee lineup despite having a higher ratio of groundouts to fly outs (6:3) than usual.

After Sam Gaviglio ran into trouble at the end of his last start in Boston, it seemed like his run of good outings was coming to an end. Instead, he bounced back with this incredible seven-inning shutout, reaching career highs in both innings pitched, and pitches thrown (104). He only allowed three hits and three walks, while also striking out four. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning, then retired seven batters in a row to cap off his outing.

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The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Visit the Handbook page for more information!