Tanaka, Yankees top Blue Jays 4-2; Stanton hitless this time
TORONTO (AP) — The bottom of the New York Yankees’ deep lineup delivered on an empty night for sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Brandon Drury had two hits and two RBIs and Masahiro Tanaka pitched six sharp innings, leading the Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
Stanton, who homered twice and doubled a day earlier in the opener, went 0 for 4. So did Judge and Gary Sanchez. But the Yankees, under new manager Aaron Boone, improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2011.
“That’s the whole key,” Judge said. “Whenever somebody doesn’t step up and do their job, we’ve got 24 guys behind them to pick them up, and that’s what happened tonight.”
Boone said Judge and Stanton are still able to affect opposing pitchers even when they don’t produce.
“When you have elite power guys, that’ll grind you down,” Boone said. “We’ve seen it in the first two games here.”
Tyler Wade drove in two runs and Didi Gregorius had two extra-base hits and scored twice. Billy McKinney, who was promoted from the minors when outfielder Aaron Hicks went on the disabled list earlier in the day, singled in his first major league at-bat.
Tanaka (1-0) allowed one run and three hits, struck out eight and walked none. He retired his final 13 batters while improving to 10-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 16 career starts against the Blue Jays.
“I thought it was a really quality effort by a mature, really good pitcher,” Boone said.
Tommy Kahnle got four outs, David Robertson retired two batters and Aroldis Chapman pitched around Yangervis Solarte’s two-out RBI double to earn his first save.
Randal Grichuk hit his first home run for Toronto but struck out looking to end the game.
Making his first start since July 19, Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Sanchez (0-1) walked four and struck out two.
The AL ERA leader in 2016, Sanchez was limited to eight starts last season because of persistent blister issues.
“I thought today went well in terms of what I was featuring to the plate,” he said. “When you give up eight hits and walk four guys, it’s going to be tough to win.”
Gregorius hit a leadoff triple in the second but was thrown out at home when he ran on contact on Sanchez’s grounder to third. Sanchez later scored on Drury’s two-out double off the right-field wall.
“Drury was on point all night,” Boone said.
Grichuk tied it with a one-out drive in the bottom half, but the Yankees reclaimed the lead in the fourth when Gregorius doubled and scored on Drury’s single.
Wade added his two-run double in the sixth.
“There’s really no breaks one through nine,” Wade said of New York’s imposing lineup.
Nine of Grichuk’s past 10 home runs have been solo shots.
Boone said Gregorius was instructed to try and score on an infield chopper after his triple.
“I think if it’s not directly at (Yangervis) Solarte where he can move through it, it probably works out,” Boone said.
HIT AND MISS
Toronto’s seven hits through the first two games are its fewest ever. The Blue Jays had nine hits over the first two games of 1990, 1998, and 2013.
Yankees: Hicks was placed on the 10-day DL with a strained right ribcage. He will be shut down for three days before resuming activity. He becomes the third outfielder on New York’s DL, joining Jacoby Ellsbury (strained right oblique) and Clint Frazier (concussion).
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki will have surgery Monday to remove bone spurs from both heels and is expected to miss eight weeks. ... 3B Josh Donaldson will DH until he recovers from a dead arm that has affected his throwing. While there is no structural damage, Donaldson has been dealing with the problem since early March.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia is 8-4 with a 3.11 ERA in 14 starts at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, his third-lowest career ERA at any stadium.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada is 12-5 with a 4.26 ERA in 25 career games against the Yankees. The only team he’s beaten more often is Baltimore (13).
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