Bautista homers in 10th, leads Jays over Yankees
NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays sent the New York Yankees a message: they’re more than just a potent offense.
Bautista homered with one out in the 10th inning after two of the top slugging teams in the major leagues engaged in a tense pitchers’ duel, lifting the surging Blue Jays over the Yankees 2-1 on Friday night, their sixth straight win.
“We won the first game of the series. Everyone knows what our offense is capable of. We’ve got David Price going (Saturday),” Bautista said. “I don’t think they feel good right now, going home.”
Bautista connected off Branden Pinder (0-1) to pull the new-look Blue Jays within 3 1-2 games of the AL East-leading Yankees.
“The home run is not really what I’m too concerned about,” Bautista said. “Making a statement that’s the most important part.”
The first of 13 games remaining between the division rivals started as most expected it would, with a slugfest. Josh Donaldson hit his 30th homer for Toronto in the first inning and Mark Teixeira connected for his 30th an inning later — after a replay reversal — giving the Yankees a homer in 13 straight games.
But R.A. Dickey and Nathan Eovaldi settled in and set down these powerful lineups with two very different styles. Dickey was the second soft-tossing knuckleballer the Yankees faced in three games. Eovaldi has one of the highest fastball averages for starters in the majors. Eovaldi was dominant through six innings, Dickey for seven.
Brett Cecil (3-4) gave up a single in the ninth for the win. Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect 10th for his ninth save, the third scoreless inning for Toronto’s revamped bullpen.
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit,” Dickey said. “A lot of people contributed. A lot of people did their jobs.”
Winners of nine of 10 since Troy Tulowitzki entered the Toronto lineup on July 29, after a trade with Colorado, the Blue Jays looked loose before what manager John Gibbons called the most important series in the Bronx for Toronto in 20 years.
A group played some serious soccer in left field before batting practice and Liam Hendrickson zipped around on a CyBoard — it’s like a Segway without something to hold onto. Price, another newcomer, said the clubhouse “is easy to come into and feel comfortable.”
And they quickly went up on Donaldson’s homer to right-center.
Teixeira got it right back with a long ball of his own. Well, it took nearly four minutes to make it official.
A switch-hitter batting righty against the right-handed Dickey, Teixeira’s flyball to left appeared to slip through the hands of a fan in the front row and miss the glove of a leaping Ben Revere. The Yankees slugger stopped at second base, and manager Joe Girardi requested an appeal.
After 3 minutes, 56 seconds, the call was overturned and Teixeira, had his 30th — the ninth season he reached that plateau.
Teixeira’s homer gave New York 147, their total for all last season. It’s also two fewer than Toronto, who is second in the majors behind Houston, which entered the night with 153.
“We got a lot of baseball to play before October,” Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said. “They have a good team, but I like our team, too.”
Eovaldi pitched beyond the sixth inning for only the second time in 10 starts, allowing five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Dickey had his sixth straight start of allowing two or fewer runs. He yielded six hits in seven innings. The Yankees mustered just one run and four hits over eight innings Wednesday against Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Blue Jays: C Russell Martin was back in the starting lineup after sitting out Thursday.
Yankees: C Brian McCann wore a brace all day on his left knee to get used to it before getting behind the plate after being limited to one pinch-hit at-bat the previous two games because of a stiff knee.
Blue Jays: LHP Price makes his second start for Toronto since being acquired just before the nonwaiver trade deadline. He had 11 Ks in an electrifying debut for the Jays. But he struggled in his last two starts against the Yankees, giving up eight runs each time.
Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova will make his eighth start since returning from Tommy John surgery. He’s won three straight.
The Yankees have successfully won eight straight replay challenges and 14 of their last 15.
Toronto starters have allowed three runs or fewer in 12 straight games, their longest stretch since 2013.