Yanks Come “This Close” Despite Kikuchi Brilliance. Toronto 5 NY 4

Yusei Kikuchi was on his game, pitching 6 innings of brilliant 1-run ball, and leaving with a 5-1 lead. The Yankees rallied against the Toronto bullpen, pulling to within 5-4 in the 9th with a runner on 3rd and 2 outs. But Jordan Romano got Oswaldo Cabrera to ground out for the old ballgame.

Toronto also made two spectacular plays in the outfield to rob NY Anthony Rizzo of hits and NY of runs — one in left by Davis Schneider with 2 outs in the 6th with Juan Soto sprinting around the bases, and one in the 9th when Daulton Varsho robbed Rizzo of a leadoff double.

Final score Blue Jays 5 Yankees 4. On a Tuesday night in Toronto.

Yankee starter Carlos Rodon had good stuff but the potent Blue Jay offense worked his pitch count up by fouling off many pitches. Rodon only lasted 4 innings, leaving at 101 pitches and down 3-1.

“Stuff wise really good,” said manager Aaron Boone of Rodon’s performance. Couple of walks there late as a result Death by the foul ball tonite. They just kept spoiling pitches. He was in the strike zone; the stuff was really good. But they out-lasted him, and then a couple of walks that came around and scoring did him in. But I thought he threw the ball really well. Sometimes the other team is really good. They kept spoiling what were a lot of really good pitches tonite.”

“In the end we got outplayed,” added Boone. “They played a heck of a game in a lot of ways. Made a couple of huge plays defensively in the outfield. Kikuchi was really good. And they had tough at bats.”

NY falls to 12-6. Toronto improves to 10-8.

1. Rodon Good Stuff But Jays Worked Him

Carlos Rodon had good stuff early but the potent Blue Jay offense kept working him — fouling off his pitches to work his pitch count.

  • Rodon allowed a 1-out single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.and a walk to Bo Bichette in the bottom of the 1st, but then struck out the last two batters to end the inning.
  • Rodon pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd, striking out 2.

Rodon Got Into Jam in 3rd

Staked to a 1-0 lead, Rodon got a jam in the 3rd: a double by Daulton Varsho, single by George Springer, and 8-pitch walk to Guerrero Jr (where Vlad worked the walk from an 0-2 count) loaded the bases with nobody out. Rodon struck out Bichette for the 1st out, got Justin Turner on a sac fly to center, and retired Davis Schneider to get out of the jam relatively unscathed. A 1-1 tie.

But Rodon was already at 72 pitches, and the Yankees went out in order in the top of the 4th against Kikuchi and just like that Rodon was back on the mound.

Rodon got 2 outs sandwiching an infield single to 2nd, but then walked Varsho and Springer to load the bases. A 2-out single by Vlad Guerrero Jr scored 2 runs and made it 3-1 Jays. Rodon got the final out but was done for the night at 101 pitches.


2. Kikuchi On His Game

Meanwhile Yusei Kikuchi was on his game — throwing a 96-MPH fastball, 82 MPH curve, 89-MPH slider, and 88-MPH changeup to effect. He was filthy. He struck out 9 in 6 innings including Anthony Volpe 3 times and Aaron Judge twice.

The Yankees got to him for a run in the top of the 2nd: a Giancarlo Stanton leadoff single, Gleyber Torres 1-out walk, and 2-out RBI single by Jose Trevino.


But after that Kikuchi got tougher, and mowed the NY lineup down — pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd and 4th, and allowing only a 2-out double in the 5th (to Oswaldo Cabrera).

Juan Soto led off the 6th with a single, but Kikuchi got Judge to fly out and Stanton to strike out. With 2 outs, Anthony Rizzo lofted a shot to left that Davis Schneider made a spectacular catch on to end the inning — robbing NY of a run as Soto was racing around the basepaths.


3. Gleyber Error at Heart of Giveaway 6th

Ernie Clement led off the 6th with a double off Luke Weaver, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a grounder to 2nd — but Gleyber Torres made a terrific play — rifling the ball to 3rd to nab Clement. However, the Blue Jays challenged the call and were successful — the umps ruling Clement snuck his hand in under the tag by Oswaldo at 3rd.

With 1st and 3rd nobody out, Luke Weaver struck out Varsho and was relieved by Nick Burdi.

Kiner-Falefa attempted to steal 2nd, and Jose Trevino‘s throw appeared to be there — but the throw bounced off Gleyber Torres glove and into right field for an error and the run scored. Yankee Twitter was HOWLING and Gleyber started trending again for the 2nd night in a row.

Burdi then got a walk and a fly out, but a 2-out single by Bichette plated Kiner-Falefa (who would not have been on base if he had been thrown out). Toronto 5 NY 1.

4. Gleyber Walk, Verdugo Double Key 7th Inning Rally

The good news is — Gleyber was at the heart of the offense all evening. After striking out his first time up against Kikuchi in bad fashion — waving at the final strike, Gleyber ended up going 0-1 with 2 walks and a hit by pitch.

He led off the 7th with a walk, went to 3rd on a double by Alex Verdugo, and scored on a groundout by Jose Trevino (who was also in the middle of the Yankee offense all night).

Oswaldo hit a sac fly to center to score Verdugo and it was a 5-3 game — Yanks back in it.

5. Gleyber HBP, Verdugo Double Key 9th Inning Rally

Anthony Rizzo was again robbed in the 9th — hitting a line drive to center that Daulton Varsho made a spectacular catch on.

Toronto ace reliever Jordan Romano hit Gleyber with a pitch, and then Alex Verdugo followed with another double — putting 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

Jose Trevino grounded out to 3rd for a run, Verdugo moving to 3rd. Toronto 5 NY 4

But with tying run on 3rd, and 2 outs, Oswaldo Cabrera grounded out to 2nd for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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