Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Former Yankee Martin Leads Jays to 8-4 Victory Over Yanks

      A night after getting back to .500, the Yankees looked to make it seven in a row as they faced the Blue Jays in game two of the three games set. During their six-game winning streak, New York is batting .287 as a team and pitching equally as well, with a 1.67 team ERA. Ivan Nova looked to build  off of a phenomenal outing in Oakland as he took the ball for New York, facing the most potent offensive lineup he has faced since joining the rotation. On the mound for Toronto was their best starter, although not there "ace", Marco Estrada. Estrada had recorded just one win in 2016, but has pitched exceptionally well with an impressive 2.61 ERA, and even more so impressively, leading all right-handed starting pitching in baseball with a 10.7 MPH difference between his fastball and his changeup. And, that nasty changeup would be on display all night long in New York as Estrada collected his second win of the season, ending the Yankee winning streak at six.
     The Yankees got the scoring rolling in the bottom of the third inning. Estrada led off the frame by allowing a single to Chase Headley, who advanced to second base when the next hitter Didi Gregorius laid a perfect bunt down the third-base line. Estrada would then load the bases with no outs by walking the nine hole hitter Aaron Hicks on four pitches. Headley came across home plate on a one-out sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner, giving the Yankees a one run lead. But, Estrada would get out of the frame with no more than the one run scoring, which was pretty impressive considering he started out the inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Impressive for Toronto but gut wrenching for New York.
     The Blue Jays would come back to take the lead in the top of the next inning, in the all-too-familiar "two out" variety. Nova served up a two-out single to centerfielder Kevin Pillar that was followed by another single, this one coming off the bat of the second baseman Devan Travis. Again, with two outs, Ryan Goings belted a double into right-centerfield that scored both runners and pushed the Blue Jays ahead 2-1. Toronto would add another run off of Nova in the top of the sixth when former-Yankee Russell Martin hit a solo shot to left, 3-1 Blue Jays.
    Nova would be chased from the game in the top of the seventh after he drilled Edwin Encarnacion with two outs. And, because Chasen Shreve, the lefty who replaced Nova, immediately served up a two run blast to Michael Saunders, the Yankees string of quality starts came to an end tonight. Unfortunately Shreve would get bit by the long ball again when Russell Martin homered for the second time in the game, scoring Justin Smoak and pushing the lead to 7-1 Toronto.
     The Yankees would retaliate in the bottom of the seventh when Estrada served up back-to-back solo shots to Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius, 7-3 Blue Jays. And then again in the bottom of the ninth, after Turano scored another run in the eighth, Austin Romine hit a pinch hit solo shot, his first of the season, that inched the Yankees to within four, 8-4, where the score would stay.
      Alex Rodriguez will make his return from the DL when C.C. Sabathia and J.A. Happ square off tomorrow in the rubber game of the series, with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 PM ET.

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