Bad day: Bautista to DL, Jays lose 2 to Yankees
NEW YORK (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays ended a demoralizing day by learning All-Star slugger Jose Bautista is headed to the 15-day disabled list.
The Blue Jays failed to hold a lead for the second time Tuesday, losing 3-2 in the nightcap of a split doubleheader when Jayson Nix hit a tying homer off Mark Buehrle in the seventh inning and had the winning hit in the ninth.
Robinson Cano had his 200th homer among four hits and drove in four runs, Chris Stewart hit a go-ahead three-run drive and the Yankees beat Toronto in New York for a record 10th straight time 8-4 in the opener.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” manager John Gibbons said. “We are hanging in every game ... just not winning. We can’t get that extra run around and it comes back and bites us.”
Bautista left the opener in the fourth with what was called left hip soreness. But after having tests while the Blue Jays were playing the night game, it was determined he had a bone bruise.
Bautista said he was injured about two weeks ago when he slowed up while approaching home plate and jammed the hip.
“I am about 70 percent,” Bautista said. “I don’t think I am doing the team any favors playing with it right now.”
Gibbons said Bautista will rest for two weeks then be evaluated before the next step is planned. Bautista has 28 homers and 73 RBIs for the Blue Jays in what is turning out to be a lost season after a winter of hope.
After boosting their lineup with several big winter moves, Toronto has fallen way out of the playoff race at 57-69.
“That’s baseball and you move on,” Gibbons said of Bautista’s injury.
The player that replaced Bautista in the opener and started Game 2, Anthony Gose, failed to get a sacrifice down after pinch-hitter Jose Reyes singled leading off the ninth against Mariano Rivera (4-2).
“He has to get that bunt down,” Gibbons said. “Maybe it would have made a difference.”
Maicer Izturis was lifted in the top of the seventh with a sprained left ankle. He said he is not sure if he can play Wednesday night.
Ichiro Suzuki singled and doubled in the first game, leaving him one shy of 4,000 combined hits during his careers in Japan and the major leagues. With fans standing and chanting “Ichi-ro!” in the eighth, he grounded out.
Suzuki pinch ran in the night game and scored the winning run.
With a full moon hanging over the right field rafters, Darren Oliver (3-4) walked Mark Reynolds to start the ninth.
Suzuki came in to run for Reynolds and advanced on Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice bunt. Suzuki stole third, which forced Toronto to bring the infield in. He scored on Nix’s line drive to left.
“It changes it a lot. It makes my job a lot easier,” Nix said of Suzuki’s 18th stolen base.
Buehrle was on track to end an eight-decision losing streak to New York but he gave up a tying homer in the seventh to Nix, the infielder’s first homer since June 25th.
Nix was the Yankees’ second unlikely long ball hitter of the day. Stewart connected off Neil Wagner (2-4) in the sixth inning for his first homer since May 15 — that’s 173 homerless at-bats — to put New York ahead in the opener.
Just 1-10 in his career against the Yankees, the left-hander shut down a rejuvenated lineup by allowing two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out Alex Rodriguez all three times he faced him.
During the afternoon game, Major League Baseball announced Yankees manager Joe Girardi was fined $5,000 for his on-field tirade after Boston’s Ryan Dempster hit Rodriguez with a pitch on Sunday. Dempster was suspended five games and fined $2,500.
Girardi refused to comment on the suspension and fines but did reiterate what he said earlier in the day, that he’s worried a light penalty would encourage “open season” on Rodriguez.
Rodriguez singled to start the sixth — to cheers — and he scored on Stewart’s fourth homer of the season, a shot to left field off Wagner that put New York ahead 6-4.
But Rodriguez struck out five times in the doubleheader in seven at-bats. He came up with two on in the eighth inning of late game, but grounded into a double play.
“I wasn’t sure what we’d get the second game in a sense. It’s the first time he probably had to play two games in one day but I’m OK with everything,” Girardi said.
Rajai Davis had a two-run double in the first game, and was responsible for the Blue Jays’ first two runs in Game 2. He scored on Phil Hughes’ wild pitch in the first inning and had a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to put Toronto up 2-1.
In the opener, Cano’s 200th career home run off Esmil Rogers in the third pulled New York to 4-3 after Toronto went up 4-0 in the second against Ivan Nova (7-4). Cano added an RBI double in the seventh.
Nova allowed four runs in the second inning when Toronto batted around in the makeup of a rained-out game on May 19.
Kevin Pillar got his first big league hit in the night game — in his 18th at-bat, a liner over a leaping Cano.
Cano tossed the ball to the Blue Jays’ dugout and Reyes pretended to throw it into the crowd. Pillar stood on first smiling broadly. The 24-year-old from California went 0 for 4 in the opener but got his first RBI.
NOTES: Blue Jays RHP Thad Weber was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday, but was recalled as the 26th man for the doubleheader. ... Hughes gave up two runs in six-plus innings. ... Suzuki has 1,278 hits in Japan and 2,721 in the majors. ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter (right calf strain) played his second simulated game at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla. He ran the bases for the first time.