Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's been a long time since the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and it's been an even longer time since Mark Buehrle beat the Yankees at Yankee Stadium -- 10 years, to be exact -- and neither of those streaks would come to an end on Wednesday night, as the Yanks took care of business against the Jays for the 15th straight time at home with a 7-3 win.

Chase Whitley delivered another solid start on the mound, giving the Yankees five innings of two-run ball to pick his up third consecutive win, as he hasn't lost an outing this season.

At the plate, Brian McCann did almost all of the damage for the Bombers, driving in five of their seven runs with a two-run homerun and even a bases clearing triple (!) in the 7th.

Alfonso Soriano gave Whitley and the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning with an RBI single that drove in Brett Gardner, who singled to center field to open the game with one of his four hits on the night -- his first four-hit game since June 9, 2013 (5th in his career), and his first game with at least three hits this season.

Whitley worked his way through the first three innings with just two hits marked to his credit before running into trouble in the 4th inning, where the Jays would score a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead.

Jose Bautista singled to open the inning, but was quickly wiped off of the bases when Edwin Encarnacion grounded into a fielder's choice at second base for the first out. Brett Lawrie was hit on the hand by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. After Juan Francisco struck out, Dioner Navarro and Rasmus lined back-to-back run-scoring singles to bring in the two runs.

The Blue Jays would not hold that lead for long, however. After Carlos Beltran opened the bottom of the 4th inning with a single, then McCann followed with a line drive homerun to the short porch in right field -- his 8th homerun of the season -- to put the Yankees back up, 3-2.

McCann's shot was the definition of a Yankee Stadium homerun, in that it was noted on Twitter that the ball would not have left the yard in any other Major League ballpark.

Whitley then followed up by working around a one-out walk to Melky Cabrera in the 5th inning to get out of the inning, Whitley's final frame of the night. Again, this was another solid outing for the youngster, facing a very dangerous Toronto lineup that, combined with Yankee Stadium, could do some real damage.

They only managed two runs on five hits against him. Whitley's walk to Cabrera in the 5th was his first walk in his last five innings, spanning over 33 innings. He also struck out two while tossing a career-high 95 pitches.

Adam Warren took over in the 6th inning and two two straight three up, three down innings. He struck out the side in the 6th, and got three straight groundouts to Brian Roberts in the 7th. A lot of people have mentioned lately that Warren should be moved into the rotation for Vidal Nuno, while I think that would be just silly. Joe Girardi would be losing a very valuable arm in his bullpen by making that move.

The Yankees scored four insurance runs in the bottom of the 7th inning against the Jays' bullpen to give their bullpen some more breathing room.

Ichiro came off of the bench with the bases loaded to face the left-hander Brett Cecil, drawing a walk to force in a run, making it a 4-2 game. After Beltran popped out, McCann lined a ball into the right-center field gap that just barely missed the glove of a diving Rasmus, rolling far enough for McCann to leg out just the third triple of his career.

Up by four in the 8th, Girardi called upon Jose Ramirez to face the middle of the Jays' order. That didn't go very well, as Ramirez gave up back-to-back doubles to open the inning -- the second being an RBI double by Bautista -- and quickly ending his night.

Dellin Betances took over from there and set down three of the next four Blue Jays, two on a pair of filthy breaking balls, to get out of the 9th inning. David Robertson recorded save No. 18 on the year a three up, three down nine, striking out a batter, too, which he does a lot in the 9th inning these days, to seal out the game and pull the Yankees to within just 2 1/2 games of the Jays in the AL East.

The finale of this three game series is Thursday night in the Bronx, with David Phelps and Drew Hucthinson squaring off at our normal 7:05 pm ET.


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