Recap: Toronto vs. NY Yankees
08/31/2014 3:48 PM
08/31/2014 7:16 PM
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Munenori Kawasaki's tie-breaking RBI single in the seventh inning capped a Toronto rally that carried the Blue Jays to a 4-3 decision over the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays trailed 3-0 after 5 1/2 innings before drawing even via three solo home runs off New York starter Brandon McCarthy. Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista went back-to-back in the bottom of the sixth, with Edwin Encarnacion belting the game-tying shot in the seventh.
Dioner Navarro followed Encarnacion's blast by drawing a walk against McCarthy and was replaced by pinch-runner Steven Tolleson, who later stole second and scored on Kawasaki's clutch two-out hit off Dellin Betances.
The comeback made a winner out of J.A. Happ and gave the Blue Jays consecutive victories for the first time since August 9-10. Toronto took the final two tests of this key three-game set.
"I think a lot has kind of been made that our team hits home runs -- and that's kind of no secret, so it was nice that we came back with three to tie it up," said Happ. "Kawa got the huge hit, so that was really fun to see."
Happ (9-8) permitted three runs on nine hits and fanned six over seven innings, while Casey Janssen stranded the tying run at third in the ninth to record his 20th save.
McCarthy (5-4) was charged with all four Toronto runs despite yielding just five hits in six-plus innings of work.
Brett Gardner finished a single shy of the cycle for New York, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored.
McCarthy took a two-hit shutout into the bottom of the sixth after striking out the side an inning prior, and had set down nine straight Blue Jays until Cabrera delivered a bomb into the second deck in right to cut Toronto's deficit to 3-1.
Bautista then homered for a career-best fifth consecutive game to suddenly make it a one-run spread.
Encarnacion continued Toronto's power surge by leading off the bottom of the seventh with a no-doubter into the left-field stands, and a shaken McCarthy proceeded to walk Navarro on four pitches to put the eventual winning run aboard.
Betances came on to record a pair of strikeouts, but Kawasaki's grounder found a hole through the right side of the infield and Tolleson just beat the tag of Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli at the plate to send the Jays ahead.
"Just two really good hitters," McCarthy said of Cabrera and Bautista. "When they get into it, you're in trouble. The one to Encarnacion, that was a terrible pitch."
Janssen allowed a bloop double to pinch-hitter Jacoby Ellsbury with one out in the ninth, but got Gardner to ground out harmlessly before retiring Derek Jeter on a soft liner to close out a potentially damaging loss for New York.
"I could see the little fairy-tale story being written, but got that out of my head real quick and knew I had to attack him," said Janssen of Jeter. "He's as clutch as they come."
The Yankees had gotten the game off to a soaring start courtesy of Gardner, who drilled Happ's second pitch of the afternoon over the right-field wall to quickly give his team the upper hand.
New York extended the margin in the fourth by tagging Happ for a trio of singles, the last a two-out liner by Cervelli that brought in Martin Prado from third.
Gardner struck again an inning later, lacing a ball into the gap in left center and hustling all the way to third. Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes' relay throw on the play sailed past third baseman Danny Valencia and into the Jays' dugout, enabling Gardner to trot home for a 3-0 Yankees' lead.
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