MLB

Wed, Sep 16, 2020
7:05 PM ET

Toronto Blue Jays
vs.
New York Yankees

Odds / Picks  (Full Game)

Game Preview

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees - MLB - Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Yankees look to match season-best streak vs. Blue JaysA week ago, the New York Yankees took the field in Buffalo against the Toronto Blue Jays feeling frustrated and disappointed about being a .500 team.Fast forward nine days and the red-hot Yankees look to match a season high with their seventh straight win Wednesday night when they host Toronto at Yankee Stadium.New York (27-21) is a half-game ahead of Toronto (26-21) in second place in the American League East and as the fifth seed in the expanded postseason field. The Yankees opened the series with a 20-6 rout Tuesday and during their second-longest winning streak of the season, they are outscoring opponents 48-11."No, no, never," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters when asked if he ever lost confidence in his players during a 5-15 slide from Aug. 18-Sept. 8. "Obviously, you're frustrated. It makes for some sleepless nights but no never losing belief in these guys and now as we get more and more guys healthy and in the mix, I know we're capable of amazing things and hopefully, we're going to find that out." On Tuesday Luke Voit homered twice to take over the major league lead with 18 while DJ LeMahieu had four hits and drove in five runs to raise his average to .363. Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks also homered on a night when Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela returned from the injured list. Aaron Judge could return from a strained right calf in the next day or two, as well."A couple of weeks ago, I don't think teams were scared of us," Voit said. "Now we're back to being the Bronx Bombers." The Yankees also got a strong outing from rookie Deivi Garcia, giving them a 2.18 ERA from their starters in their last 10 games. One of those outings was a dominant two-hitter by Gerrit Cole (5-3, 3.20 ERA) in the second game of Friday's doubleheader against Baltimore.Cole will take the mound in search of his 100th career win five days after turning in his fourth career complete game. He halted a three-game losing streak Friday by getting nine strikeouts and can become the 38th pitcher all-time and fourth since 2000 to reach 100 victories within his first 203 appearances, joining Justin Verlander, Roy Oswalt, and Mark Mulder."I liked the aggressiveness, I liked the focus, I liked the intent on a lot of the pitches and the creativeness as well," Cole said of his two-hitter.Cole is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two career starts against the Blue Jays.Toronto is coming off the fourth instance of allowing 20 runs in team history and while the Blue Jays are 19-10 in their last 29 games, they have been outscored 45-9 in their last three defeats.The Blue Jays allowed six unearned runs in the second inning and continued to struggle defensively after right fielder Derek Fisher misplayed a fly ball by Frazier in the second inning that set up a seven-run inning."When you face good lineups and you don't throw strikes and you pitch behind in the count, that's also going to happen, games like this," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said of the recent blowouts.Toronto also was forced to cover 6 1/3 innings with its bullpen, including infielder Santiago Espinal, and will likely make at least one move to add a reliever before Tanner Roark (2-1, 5.60) takes the mound Wednesday.Roark has yet to pitch more than five innings this season and faced the Yankees last Wednesday when he allowed two runs on two hits in four innings. Roark was lifted after facing 17 hitters and throwing 68 pitches and was annoyed at coming out."I felt like I got taken out too early," Roark said. "I'm what you'd call a diesel engine. Start off slow and get better as you go on. They signed me here to not go three or four innings and throw a certain amount of pitches"Roark is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.--Field Level Media

Preview provided by The Associated Press (AP)
© 2020 The Associated Press (AP)

Game Recap

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees - MLB - Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Higashioka hits 3 of Yanks' 7 HRs in 13-2 romp vs Blue JaysNEW YORK Kyle Higashioka was as surprised as anyone.''It's just kind of crazy how baseball works sometimes,'' the career .169 hitter said. ''One minute, you can't hit the ball to save your life, and then the next game you play and pop three over the fence.'' Higashioka slugged a career-high three home runs, DJ LeMahieu connected twice and resurgent New York hit a season-best seven homers in another Bronx air show, thumping the Toronto Blue Jays 13-2 on Wednesday night.Luke Voit lofted a three-run drive for his major league-leading 19th homer and Clint Frazier added a solo shot as the Yankees won their seventh straight game following a 5-15 slide. New York moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Toronto for second place in the AL East, with the top two teams ensured spots in the expanded postseason that begins in less than two weeks.LeMahieu, Voit and Frazier also connected Tuesday - Voit homered twice - when New York hit six home runs and pummeled Toronto 20-6. It's the first time the Yankees have hit six homers in consecutive games.''The confidence is growing with every run we're putting on the board,'' Frazier said.Gerrit Cole (6-3) had another overpowering start for New York, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth. The right-hander completed seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight and walking two for his 100th career victory. He also took a no-hitter into the fifth in his previous start - a seven-inning, two-hit shutout against Baltimore in the opener of a doubleheader Friday.Aaron Judge was activated from the injured list but wasn't much help, going hitless with three strikeouts. The two-time All-Star had been out since Aug. 26 after re-aggravating a strained right calf.Higashioka had never topped three homers in a season but has four in the past six days while emerging as Cole's preferred batterymate. The last New York player with three homers in a game was teammate Gary Sanchez on April 7, 2019 at Baltimore.The 30-year-old Higashioka hit a two-run homer in the third off Tanner Roark (2-2), a solo shot in the sixth against Jacob Waguespack and another two-run drive in the seventh off Hector Perez. He matched a career high with five RBIs, and his only out was a drive to the warning track in the fourth.Higashioka was a seventh-round draft pick by New York in 2008, and only Brett Gardner has been with the organization longer. He debuted in the majors in 2017 but has never gotten regular at-bats, although he's been siphoning playing time recently as Sanchez struggles.Higashioka has stuck around for so long because of his pitch framing, game calling and communication - but also because New York has always thought there was more in his bat than the numbers showed.''There's that power potential that's in there,'' manager Aaron Boone said. ''And you saw it manifest itself tonight.'' New York is the first team in major league history to have their Nos. 1 and 9 hitters connect at least twice in the same game, according to .LeMahieu hit his major league-leading fifth leadoff homer and also had for a two-run shot in the fourth, his ninth of the season. LeMahieu has five career multihomer games, including two this month.LeMahieu had three hits and lifted his average to .373 as he battles Chicago's Tim Anderson for the AL batting title.Jonathan Villar ended Cole's no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the sixth. Villar later scored on Cole's wild pitch.Jonathan Loaisiga relieved Cole and pitched a scoreless eighth in his first appearance since recovering from an undisclosed illness. Nick Nelson allowed Joe Panik's solo homer in the ninth before finishing off the five-hitter.Roark allowed six runs in four innings, including four homers.''They had my number tonight,'' he said. ''These first two games, they've had our number.'' TRAINER'S ROOMBlue Jays: OF Teoscar Hernandez (left oblique) was activated from the IL but didn't play. ... RHP Ken Giles was placed on the 10-day IL with a right flexor strain. ... RHPs Perez and Waguespack were called up from the alternate site. Perez made his major league debut. ... OF Derek Fisher was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right knee bruise. ... LHP Anthony Kay was optioned and added to the taxi squad.Yankees: LHP James Paxton (left flexor tendon strain) was transferred to the 45-day injured list, ending his season. ... Torres (quad) was held out of the lineup for a second straight game with tightness that Boone said was minor. Boone said Torres was available as a late-game replacement and is expected to start Thursday. ... Stanton (left hamstring) was held out a day after returning from the injured list as part of New York's plan to ease him back into full-time duty. Boone expects Stanton to start Thursday.UP NEXTYankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 3.16 ERA) closes out the series against Toronto, which hadn't announced a starter.---Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake-Seiner---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

Recap provided by The Associated Press (AP)
© 2020 The Associated Press (AP)

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