Results tagged ‘ Jose Bautista ’
It is clear by now that the Yankees did not enjoy reading all spring about how they were on the downside and that the Blue Jays were gearing up after a busy off-season to take control of the American League East.
All the Yankees have done is to take out their ire on the Blue Jays. The Yankees have Toronto to thank mostly for their being perched atop the division, which has been a customary spot for them since 1996. But this year with all the injuries and the scouring of what some might call the scrap heap, the Yankees were expected to topple down the standings.
Except that they have just refused to do that.
The Yankees’ 7-2 victory Saturday raised their record against the Blue Jays this year to 8-1. The Yanks are 19-15 against all other teams combined, so their record against Toronto is essential to their place in the division. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are the only team in the AL East with a sub-.500 record (17-26) and have fallen 10 games out of first place, a far distance from where so many prognosticators forecast them.
Sure, the loss to injury of shortstop Jose Reyes and pitcher Josh Johnson has derailed Toronto some, but what club has had more devastating injuries than the Yankees? They have had 13 players on the disabled list, including seven regulars among position players and three of their starting pitchers.
That is how David Phelps, Saturday’s winning pitcher, got into the rotation and, who knows, he just might stay there. The righthander struggled with fastball command but found reinforcements in breaking pitches and posted his third straight quality start. Phelps allowed one run, six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings to even his record at 2-2. His ERA has dropped from 5.56 to 3.83 over those three starts.
With Phelps’ fastball unpredictable, catcher Austin Romine said, “We had to mix things up.”
“I didn’t have a good curve and was not ahead in the count enough to use my changeup” Phelps said. “I had a good slider, which helped.”
Another huge help was a pickoff play in the first inning after Phelps walked two batters with one out. After striking out J.P. Arencibia, Phelps and shortstop Jayson Nix combined on a pickoff of Jose Bautista at second base for the third out of the inning.
“I knew we had a chance because I could see he was taking a big lead,” Phelps said. “That was a big play. It might have been a different inning without that the way I was stuggling, you never know.”
It looked as if it might be one of those days where the Yankees had to nickel-and-dime it for some runs when Brandon Morrow got them out in order in the first two innings. Robinson Cano had other ideas. He followed an RBI single by Brett Gardner in the third with a home run and supplied another two-run homer two innings later.
“You get the runs behind you and guys make plays behind you, and it gives you confidence that you can get the job done,” Phelps said.
One day after the middle of the lineup was nonexistent, the big bats came alive. In addition to Cano’s two bombs, Travis Hafner crushed a solo shot off Darren Oliver in the eighth.
The Yankees’ dominance of Toronto, particularly at the Stadium, goes back more than just this season. They have won nine straight home games over the Blue Jays dating to Sept. 19, 2012, 20 of the past 24 games and 23 of the past 28. The nine-game home winning streak ties their longest against the Jays of June 21, 1979 to Sept. 17, 1980. The Yanks have won the home season series against Toronto for the 10th consecutive year.
The Yankees are 18-0 when scoring first this season and remain the only team yet to lose when scoring the game’s first run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the streak is an AL record and the longest stretch of its kind by any club since the 1992 Mets started the year 18-0 when scoring the first run of the game. This is the Yanks’ longest such streak at any point in a season since 19 straight May 7 to June 6, 2011.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows that he has to be careful with Travis Hafner. Injuries have plagued the slugger in recent years. Sometimes a manager gets a hunch. Saturday was just that kind of day. The Blue Jays were starting a lefthander, J.A. Happ, but aware that the right-handed portion of the designated hitter platoon, Ben Francisco, is struggling (.103 in 29 at-bats) Girardi chose to give the lefty-swinging Hafner a rare start against a southpaw.
How it turned out was just downright beautiful. All Hafner did was drive in four runs as the Yankees turned back the Blue Jays again, 5-4, behind another gritty effort from CC Sabathia. This was like old times for Travis and CC, former teammates at Cleveland. It was another victory due in large part to the newcomers with the Yankees this year; in this case Hafner and Vernon Wells, who drove in the other Yankees run.
Just as was the case in recent years of the likes of Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Raul Ibanez and Andruws Jones, among others, who thrived with the Yankees in their twilight years, Hafner and Wells have found a fountain of youth in the Bronx.
“This is a great place to play,” Girardi said. “It’s a great clubhouse. There are great expectations. Guys feed off that.”
It was quite an afternoon. Sabathia fell into a 3-0 hole, but the Yankees helped him climb out of it so that he ended up pitching through eight innings and improving his record to 4-2 despite yet another game when his stuff was not top shelf.
“I was all over the place in the early innings,” Sabathia said. “They just missed some balls that I left out over the middle of the plate.”
“He competes, that’s what he does,” Girardi said of Sabathia. “He has not been as sharp in April, but he has four victories, so I am not going to complain.”
Newly thrust into the starting catcher role with Francisco Cervelli out for six weeks with a right hand fracture, Chris Stewart had a rough time of it in the fourth inning. A passed ball and an error helped the Blue Jays to a gift run that gave Toronto the 3-0 lead.
Sabathia, still searching for some velocity on a fastball that rarely topped 90 miles per hour, had an unusual number of fly-ball outs in the early innings. Nobody was catching the ball Jose Bautista hit to start the fourth inning, however. It darted into the left field stands for his seventh home run.
Edwin Encarnacion, who had five home runs in his previous four games, followed with a single and advanced to second on a groundout. Stewart’s passed ball put Encarnacion at third base. He tried to score on Brett Lawrie’s flyout to right field, but Ichiro Suzuki’s laser-beam throw to the plate beat Encarnacion. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg was prepared to call Encarnacion out, but the ball was dropped by Stewart, a costly error.
Fortunately for the Yankees, Happ got careless with the lead as he began the bottom of the fourth by walking Wells and Kevin Youkilis, who was back in the lineup after missing six games due to back stiffness.
Hafner lowered the boom and brought the Yankees even with his sixth home run, a three-run shot to right-center. He had never faced Happ before, but Hafner was a welcome addition to the batting order.
Lawrie picked up the RBI he lost in the fourth two innings later when he lined a home run to right field that put Toronto back in front.
Not for long, though, as Hafner struck again in the seventh. Righthander Esmil Rogers took over at that point and gave up a one-out double to Robinson Cano, who nearly didn’t get to second base before a remarkably strong and accurate by Bautista from the right field warning track. Wells tied the score with a single to center.
The Yankees stayed out of the double play by sending Wells as Youkilis grounded out to third base. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons brought in another lefthander, Brett Cecil, to face Hafner, who tripled off the glove of center fielder Rajai Davis. In the top of the inning, Brett Gardner made a fence-slamming catch off a similar drive by Bautista. It was the 13th career triple for Hafner and his third over the past six years. This was the first time since 2007 that Hafner has had a triple and a stolen base in the same season.
“Probably tiring,” Hafner said about what it felt like getting to third base. “You want to get some quality at-bats against a lefthander once in a while. It would be nice to get some starts, but I also know that they have my best interests at heart.”
Wanting to stay away from Mariano Rivera, who pitched in three of the previous four games, Girardi used Joba Chamberlain out of the bullpen in the ninth. He was touched for a couple of one-out singles but eventually slammed the door for his fifth career save and first since Sept. 21, 2010 at St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Yankees are now 13-5 since opening the season 1-4, 8-1 in games decided by two or fewer runs, 3-0 in one-run games and 13-1 when holding opponents to four runs or less. In addition, the Yankees are creating distance from the disappointing Jays, who are 9-16 and six games behind the 14-9 Yankees in the American League East. Toronto’s 11-28 (.282) record at Yankee Stadium is the worst for any team that has played at least 30 games in any current major league park.
Do not be surprised if Derek Jeter earns a spot on the American League All-Star squad even though he probably won’t play an inning of baseball before the game, which is scheduled for July 16 at Citi Field in Flushing.
The Captain is extremely popular with fans all over the country. Just last year, he received more than 4.4 million votes, the third highest total of any AL player. Only Josh Hamilton and Jose Bautista were ahead of him, and no other shortstop was within three million votes of Jeter.
Jose Reyes, in his first year in the AL with the Blue Jays after being traded from the Marlins, might have threatened Jeter’s hold on the All-Star vote at shortstop. But Reyes is also out for three months with an ankle injury, so his chances of overtaking the Captain seem out of the question now.
How weird would it be for Jeter to win an All-Star spot without having played a game? Well, go back to 1989. Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt retired in late May while batting .203 in 148 at-bats. The All-Star balloting was only a week old, and yet when it was over Schmidt was voted onto the National League squad as the starting third baseman, even though he had not played for six weeks. You could say that at least Schmidt played as many as 42 games, but then again, he was not very good in many of them. The future Hall of Famer was invited to the game that year at Anaheim Stadium and took a bow, but his place in the NL starting lineup was taken instead by the Mets’ Howard Johnson.
So don’t bet against Jeter.
One night after they received bad news about Derek Jeter, the Yankees got positive news about Andy Pettitte. The lefthander caused concern when he was pushed back a full turn in the rotation because of back spasms. Pettitte made his first start in 10 days Friday night and looked as if he had not missed a beat.
An efficient, 90-pitch effort carried Pettitte one out into the eighth inning in the Yankees’ 9-3 victory over the Blue Jays. Andy helped make a statement of sorts for the Yankees against the Jays, whom many pre-season prognosticators identified as the favorites to win the American League East this year.
Toronto certainly made a lot of major acquisitions that has revved up Canadian fans. A crowd of 40,028 swelled Rogers Centre Friday night, but Pettitte and his teammates showed Blue Jays followers that the Yankees have no intention of disappearing in the division chase. The Yanks also showed that their acquisitions can get the job done.
The Jays are playing without major off-season pickup Jose Reyes, who is out with a leg injury, but the Yankees do not have their regular shortstop, either. Derek Jeter suffered a setback in his recovery from left ankle surgery and won’t be back in uniform until after the All-Star break at the earliest.
The uplifting performance by Pettitte was an antidote to Thursday night’s 12-inning loss to the Diamondbacks for a Yankees squad that dragged into Ontario in the wee hours. Fortunately, Andy flew ahead and was plenty rested for this start. The Yankees handed him a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Travis Hafner and a run-scoring infield out by Vernon Wells. Pettitte gave up half the lead in the bottom half, but by the time Toronto scored again the Yanks had constructed a seven-run lead.
Pettitte scattered six hits, including a thunderous home run to center field by Jose Bautista (no crime there, he can launch them) with one walk and five strikeouts in improving his record to 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA. Pettitte’s 248th career victory gave him an 88-49 mark (.642) with the Yankees following a team loss. That’s the definition of a stopper.
The Yankees gave him plenty of support, a 13-hit assault against Brandon Morrow and three relievers that featured 10 knocks for extra bases. Hafner homered and doubled. Wells and Lyle Overbay added home runs, Brett Gardner a triple, Francisco Cervelli and Ichiro Suzuki two doubles each and a double by Cano, who had three hits in all. The Yankees also took advantage of an errant throw to the plate by Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus with Wells and Suzuki scoring on the play in the third.
It was a satisfying night for Wells and Overbay, who played significant portions of their career in Toronto and were deluged by boos in their plate appearances. They got the last laughs, however, by slamming homers. Wells spent 12 years north of the border and Overbay five. They teamed to continue the Yankees’ strong run by newcomers along with Hafner.
The Yankees have batted .294 as a team with 23 doubles, one triple and 19 home runs in winning eight of their past 10 games. They lead the AL in home runs with 25. Cano has five homers in the Yankees’ 15 games. He didn’t hit his fifth homer of 2012 until the club’s 43rd game. With a 2-for-3 game, Cervelli raised the batting average of Yankees catchers to .314 in 51 at-bats. A year ago, Yankees catchers ranked 24th of 30 big-league clubs in batting at .220 in 542 at-bats.
Pettitte’s effort was another quality start for the rotation that has pitched to a 2.70 ERA in 66 2/3 innings over this stretch that has pushed the Yanks’ record to 9-6. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are 7-10, so who is chasing whom?
It was if he never left. Two weeks after sustaining a left groin injury that kept him out of the All-Star Game, CC Sabathia got back on the bike Tuesday night and pitched six-plus innings of zeroes against the Blue Jays in a 6-1 Yankees victory.
Any concern Yankees manager Joe Girardi might have had about what effect the layoff would have on Sabathia was eased in the first inning when the lefthander showed hop on his fastball and bite on his breaking pitches. CC was touched for doubles by Edwin Encarnacion with none out in the second inning and Rajai Davis with two down in the third, and in each case the runner was stranded. Davis stole third and was the only player to come close to scoring with Sabathia on the mound.
He pitched into the seventh and came out after yielding a leadoff single to Adam Lind, one of four hits off Sabathia, who walked one batter and struck out six. Toronto was without two-time American League home run champ Jose Bautista, who was placed on the disabled list due to a left wrist injury, but that probably didn’t matter much. Bautista is 1-for-19 with eight strikeouts in his career against Sabathia.
CC’s 10th victory in 13 decisions moved him into a tie for the staff lead with Ivan Nova (10-4).
The Yankees’ left field platoon continued to wreak havoc against opposing pitchers. The night after Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam to head the Yankees toward a victory, Andruw Jones clubbed a three-run home run to left off lefthander Brett Cecil in the second inning that proved more than enough support for Sabathia.
The Yanks may miss the speed and defense Brett Gardner brings, but Ibanez and Jones have done a wonderful job in the left fielder’s absence, which goes back to mid-April. They have teamed for 24 home runs, 65 RBI and .483 slugging percentage, which is very good considering their combined batting average is only .241.
Overall, Yankees left fielders have hit .235 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI in 311 at-bats. Jones and Ibanez are among the players who have occupied the seventh position in the batting order that has been the Yankees’ most productive this year. The Bombers have gotten more RBI (75) out of the 7-hole than any other spot, and the 22 home runs from 7-hole hitters are second only to the No. 2 position (26, all by center fielder Curtis Granderson).
The Yankees didn’t do much more damage against Cecil, who lasted six innings, but they got three runs in the seventh off reliever Sam Dyson on doubles by Chris Spencer and Derek Jeter and a fielder’s choice by Alex Rodriguez to pull away.
At least, that is what it looked like until the Jays got on the board in the eighth and loaded the bases with one out in the ninth that forced Girardi to call on Rafael Soriano, who got his 24th save with a major assist by Mark Teixeira. The first baseman gloved pinch hitter J.P. Arencibia’s liner and slapped a tag on rookie Anthony Gose for an impressive, game-ending double play.
A home run derby was expected to break out Monday night at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and the Blue Jays, the top two power-hitting teams in the major leagues. That may well occur throughout this three-game series, and indeed the long ball factored heavily in the Yanks’ 6-3 victory in the opener of the set.
The game had been a pitcher’s duel for the most part. It was a 2-2 game into the eighth inning with each team getting one of its runs on homers – Russell Martin for the Yankees and Adam Lind for the Jays.
Raul Ibanez’s 10th career grand slam in the eighth, off righthander Jason Frasor, was the deciding blow, of course, and a majestic one, landing in the right field second deck. The Yankees loaded the bases on singles by Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano and a hit by pitch of Mark Teixeira. Frasor got a big strikeout of Nick Swisher, who took a slider for strike three, but fell behind 3-1 in the count to Ibanez, who got all of a 93-mile-per-hour fastball.
“I wasn’t thinking grand slam in that spot,” Ibanez said. “With two out, you don’t necessarily want a ball in the air. I was just trying to hit a line drive.”
Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes suggested that Frasor thought Ibanez would be taking on 3-1.
“Oh, no,” Ibanez said, laughing. “I was ready to hit my pitch if I got it.”
It was the 144th home run of the season for the Yankees. Toronto is second with 131, but its total may not rise very much if right fielder Jose Bautista is out of the lineup for a stretch. The slugger with the most home runs over the past two seasons was forced out of Monday night’s game in the eighth inning when he injured his left wrist on a swing that produced a scorching foul ball down the left field line.
X-rays were negative. Bautista will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam Tuesday and will probably not play the remainder of the series.
Before Monday night, the Yankees and Jays had played only two games against each other May 16-17 at Rogers Centre with Toronto winning both. The Jays’ rotation has been decimated by injuries since, so much so that manager John Farrell is operating with a 14-man staff.
Hughes began the season by giving up home runs in each of his first 12 starts, but he did not allow a homer in his past three starts. Serving up only one Monday night was a positive.
The slam by Ibanez was the sixth of the season for the Yankees, who have struggled otherwise with the bases loaded. Swisher struck out twice with the bags full. The Yankees are hitting .191 in bases-loaded situations.
Just before the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that disabled left fielder Brett Gardner had to be shut down again because of pain in his left arm. Although they have certainly missed the element of speed that Gardner gives them, the Yankees have overcome his loss largely due to the hitting of Ibanez, who has 12 home runs and 40 RBI. He had been signed to be in a platoon with Andruw Jones at designated hitter but with Gardner lost since mid-April has played a lot of left field.
“Playing more often has probably helped him be more productive,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He has had some huge hits for us.”
Girardi explained that Gardner’s injury has allowed him to DH Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter more often to keep them fresh and has provided additional playing time for Eric Chavez. A-Rod was the DH Monday night because a stiff neck made it difficult for him to throw. Ibanez gets a caddy in DeWayne Wise in the late innings if the Yankees are ahead. That was the case Monday night, thanks to Ibanez himself.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, were in complete agreement on one issue Tuesday. Both executives felt that fans here overdid it in their persistent booing of Robinson Cano during Monday night’s Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium.
Cano was taken to task by local fans for not including Billy Butler, the Royals’ representative on the American League squad, for the AL’s quartet in the Home Run Derby. Cano is captain of the AL team and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp for the National League. Cano was booed whenever his face appeared on the video board and throughout his at-bat in the first round when he failed to hit a home run.
“I felt badly about Robinson Cano,” Selig said. “He picked the people he thought were deserving and did a good job. I really felt bad for him.”
“I don’t think anyone could quarrel with the players he took,” Weiner said. “They had the three most home runs in the competition.”
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder won the event. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo had the second and third highest totals, respectively. Even with Cano getting shut out, the AL out-homered the NL, 61-21.
Selig and Weiner spoke at the annual All-Star Game meeting of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at the Kansas City Marriott County Club Plaza Hotel on a variety of topics on which they did not always agree except for the Cano situation.
Cano was not criticized by Butler, who said he did not fault the Yankees second baseman nor did he feel snubbed. KC fans, on the other hand, took it personally. Cano said he understood why the fans were upset and that part of being a Yankee is to get used to being booed on the road.
What fans here did not realize is that Cano had to name the Home Run Derby team before the AL squad was complete. Cano, Fielder and Bautista were voted into the starting lineup in the fans’ ballot, and Cano was told by a league official that Trumbo would be on the team. Butler was not named to the team until several days after Cano had to submit his list. He had inquired about two other stars, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, but both declined to participate.
“Fans have the right to express their opinion,” Weiner said, “but it seemed to me that it was more than the traditional booing.”
ESPN, which cablecast the event, did not help matters, either. Cameras were focused on Cano for what seemed an inordinate amount of time, almost as if the network encouraged fans to boo him.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American League is the home team for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium, but the Yankees’ Robinson Cano was rudely treated as a visitor Monday night at the start of the Home Run Derby.
The reason is that local fans were expressing their displeasure that Cano as captain of the AL Home Run Derby team did not select Billy Butler, the hometown Royals’ representative, to be one of the four sluggers for the competition. Obviously, this was a favorite-son beef, considering that Cano also passed on the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and the Red Sox’ David Ortiz.
Cano’s selections in addition to himself were Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo. It is difficult to argue about those picks. Bautista is tied with Hamilton for the AL home run lead with 27. Trumbo has 22 homers and Cano 22.
As for choosing Fielder, who has 15 home runs, over Butler, who has 16, Cano is justified based on career performance. After all, Fielder was the Most Valuable Player of last season’s All-Star Game at Phoenix when he was still in the National League with the Brewers.
And Fielder ended up winning the Home Run Derby for the second time in his career. He also won in 2009 on the other side of the state at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He is one of two players to have won the Derby more than once. The other was three-time winner Ken Griffey Jr.
Cano took the booing good-naturedly. He won the event last year but failed to homer this year. If nothing else, Robinson may have made some people happy.
“You play for the Yankees, everywhere you go you get booed,” he said.
It comes as no surprise that Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was named the American League Player of the Week for his outstanding hitting last week when he batted .414 with two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI in 29 at-bats over seven games.
Cano’s competition for the award, which he won for the sixth time in his career and the first time since the week of Aug. 22, 2010, were his own teammates, pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder DeWayne Wise. Kuroda was 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings and Wise hit .500 with one double, one triple, two home runs and five RBI in 14 at-bats and also pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed no runs and no hits.
Cano has a busy day Monday. In his role as AL captain of the All-Star Home Run Derby July 9, the night before the All-Star Game at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, Cano named Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo to the squad along with himself. Cano won the event last year. Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz had been considered by Cano but both declined to be part of the competition.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, the captain of the National League squad, named fellow outfielders Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. Kemp is on the disabled list and will not play in the All-Star Game but will participate in the Home Run Derby.
The Yankees had a new pitcher in the bullpen Monday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the start of a three-game series against the Rays. Chad Qualls, acquired from the Phillies for cash considerations and a player to be named, was 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in 35 appearances for Philadelphia. He will replace Cory Wade, who struggled in June and was optioned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Also back in the dugout was outfielder-designated hitter Raul Ibanez, who stayed in New York as the Yankees traveled to Tampa to have a lacerated lip and cracked tooth repaired. Ibanez was hurt while sitting in the dugout Sunday trying to avoid being by a foul ball by White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
It is the same old, same old these days for the Yankees, who continued to struggle Thursday night trying to capitalize on scoring chances. They lost their third straight game and tumbled into fourth place in the American League East as the Blue Jays jumped over them by sweeping the two-game series at Rogers Centre.
The Yankees broke out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Robinson Cano doubled home Curtis Granderson, who had walked with one out. But just as quickly, the bats went hollow once there was a runner in scoring position. Cano never budged off second, and the Yankees did not score again as they went hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position. That raised their ineffectiveness in the clutch over the past five games to 3-for-41 (.073), which dragged their season average in those instances to .234.
With Alex Rodriguez getting a day off, Mark Teixeira batted cleanup and was 0-for-4 with five runners left on base, three in scoring position. He is batting .205 in the clutch for the season.
The Yankees were stymied by rookie righthander Drew Hutchinson, who was a tad better than Phil Hughes, and three Toronto relievers, who held the Bombers hitless over the final three innings. The Yankees’ last 10 hitters of the game went down in order.
Hughes had a muscular fastball but little else. He was erratic with his breaking pitches but showed plenty of savvy in pitching out of trouble. The Blue Jays had only one hit in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position off Hughes, and that hit did not score a run. The pitch that hurt Hughes was a 3-2 cutter that Jose Bautista blasted for a two-run home run in the third.
It was the ninth straight game from the start of the season that Hughes has allowed a home run, a franchise first. The Yankees were homerless for the ninth time and are 0-9 in those games.
Hughes kept the Yankees close, but another two-run homer by J.P. Arencibia, who also hit one Wednesday night, off Cory Wade in the seventh gave the Blue Jays some breathing room. Meanwhile, the Yankees are choking, a phrase no team wants to hear about itself. The Yankees traveled within the division for four games in Baltimore and Toronto, lost three of them and will come back home closer to last place (2 games) than first (4 ½ games).