Yankees score four in ninth to beat Blue Jays, 6-4, avoid sweep (2024)

Ben Krimmel

·5 min read

The Yankees' bats broke out of their slump to score five runs in the eighth and ninth innings to steal a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays and avoid a sweep Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Here are the takeaways...

- Before the game, manager Aaron Boone explained the Yankees’ struggles in the first two games of the series as “two starting pitchers got the best of us, hopefully, we can flip the script today.”

There was no script flipping in the game's early goings. Through eight innings, the Yanks’ only bright spots at the plate were Oswaldo Cabrera, who started the fifth with a double, and Juan Soto, who clobbered a two-out double (109.4 mph, 404 feet) off the wall in center to score him and put the Yanks on the board.

But Soto wasn't done just yet, with one out in the eighth, he took left-hander Genesis Cabrera deep to right field for his fourth homer of the season and 500th RBI of his big league career.

Unfortunately, the other seven Yankee starters mustered just one hit and one walk to go 1-for-22 with 10 strikeouts through the first eight innings and found themselves down 4-2 and facing a sweep.

And then everything changed in the ninth: Giancarlo Stanton launched a rocket (111.8 mph off the bat, 437 feet) to left off Erik Swanson. Then Gleyber Torres – who struck out in each of the three times he was up – lined a single to center and Alex Verdugo doubled to right to put runners on second and third with nobody out. After Cabrera bounced out, pinch-hitter Jose Trevino singled off Jays’ second baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s glove to score the tying run.

Anthony Volpe popped out and Soto worked a walk giving Aaron Judge – who saw his average shrink to .182 after he went 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in the first two games in Toronto and was 0-for-4 on the day with three strikeouts –the chance to be the hero with the bases loaded. And he delivered, smoking a 3-2 double down the third base line (105.7 mph off the bat) to score two runs and put the Yanks up 6-4.

Clay Holmes allowed a one-out single but needed just 16 pitches to earn the save with Volpe ranging deep into the outfield grass in center to rob a single up the middle to end the ball game.

- Marcus Stroman shut down the Jays in the Yanks' home opener 12 days ago, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out six over six scoreless frames. But he was unable to repeat the trick north of the border as Daulton Varsho stung him for a two-run homer with one down in the second to open the scoring. Varsho managed to get just enough of a 1-2 sinker to sneak it over the wall in right (96.4 mph off the bat, 373 feet and a homer in nine of 30 parks).

Toronto managed six base runners in the first two innings before Stroman retired eight straight batters. The streak ended but he still got an out when Soto nabbed Kevin Kiermaier at second as he tried for a hustle double to start the fifth.

Bo Bichette rocked a double off the wall to start the sixth inning and after a groundout moved him to third, Stroman’s day was done. Lefty Caleb Ferguson entered and got pinch-hitter Ernie Clement swinging and Davis Schneider to fly out to strand the runner.

Stroman’s final line: 5.1 innings, six hits, two runs, two walks, two strikeouts on 99 pitches (61 strikes).

- Ferguson returned for the seventh and served up a 92 mph fastball over the plate for Varsho to launch his second homer of the night (101.5 mph, 392 feet to right). After walking Kiermaier with one out he was lifted for Ian Hamilton who allowed a single to George Springer and walked Vlad Guerrero Jr. to load the bases. A sacrifice fly was all the Jays could muster but a 4-1 lead entering the eighth.

- Anthony Rizzo's struggles at first base continued when he misplayed a chopper in the second that was ruled a single, but should have been a play he made to get an out. But the Yanks got out of the inning without any damage when Cabrera made a fine play at third backhanding a smash and making a bouncing throw that Rizzo was able to scoop to save a run.

Game MVP: Juan Soto

In the field, Soto grabbed an assist by throwing out the speedy Kiermaier at second and collected three hits at the plate to keep the Yanks in the game entering the ninth.

Soto finished the day 3-for-3 (single, double, homer) with two walks and three RBI, raising his average to .352 and OPS to 1.049 on his debut season in pinstripes.


What's next...

The Yanks return to the Bronx for a seven-game homestand starting with a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays after a day off on Thursday.

Right-hander Clarke Schmidt (1-0, 3.68 ERA) will get the start for Friday night's 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The Rays have yet to name a starter.

Yankees score four in ninth to beat Blue Jays, 6-4, avoid sweep (2024)
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