BUFFALO, N.Y. — We’re back! Deal with it America! Nobody circles the wagons in Buffalo like the New York Yankees! All of a sudden the Yankees found their game in Western New York. They pushed all the right buttons and shoved the Toronto Blue Jays like a barrel over Niagara Falls. It was certainly fun to see the Yankees respond with some fight and finish the job as well.
What a shift! Every time the Yankees fell behind, they punched back. Not only that but this time around they finished. It all added up to a 6-5 victory.
After the Blue Jays scratched out a first-inning run with a Teoscar Hernandez sac fly off Jordan Montgomery, New York responded fast. Facing Hyun Jin Ryu, Gary Sanchez deposited a 2-2 fastball into the leftfield seats for the equalizer.
Trailing once again following a Bo Bichette solo swat in the third inning, the Bronx Bombers hopped back. Chris Gittens wasted no time in the fourth frame, blasting the first-pitch cutter to left to square the contest at two. The drive marked Gittens’ first MLB hit and home run all in one fell swoop.
Yet, the Yankees ran into trouble in the fifth frame, a passed ball by Sanchez and a two-run single to left by Bichette provided the Blue Jays with a 5-2 advantage. At the time it felt like a death knell as it seems lately the Yankees can’t manage more than that.
However, New York managed to keep its power game going and took advantage of a Toronto miscue. Brett Gardner took Anthony Castro yard in the seventh, jolting a 2-2 slider into the rightfield seats. Later in the frame, a Castro wild pitch enabled DJ LeMahieu to scamper home.
The next inning, manager Aaron Boone pushed the right buttons and the Yankees received a timely hit. Miguel Andujar got the ball rolling with a leadoff hit to left off Tim Mayza. Following a Gittens strikeout and with Tyler Wade pinch-running for Andujar, Clint Frazier was sent up to pinch-hit for Gardner. After the Blue Jays countered with Jason Romano from the bullpen, Wade stole second and Frazier rocked a go-ahead RBI double to left.
Appropriately enough in Buffalo, this 3 – 2 Yankee win felt like a Buffalo Bills victory, in that it’s never easy. However, they pushed the correct buttons once again and made like Frank Reich and finished the comeback.
At first, it appeared as though the lineup was back to botching golden opportunities. After loading the bases against Ross Stripling in the first frame with zero outs, a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly to right was all they could muster.
It would prove costly as in the home half Marcus Semien belted a 1-0 fastball to left off Gerrit Cole for the equalizer.
Toronto would tack on another run as Cavan Biggio went shopping at the oppo-gap in left-center for a 2-1 edge.
Yet, amid all of the baseball substance scandal, the personal catcher controversy, and being rather pedestrian in his past half dozen outings, Cole rebounded, hitting 101 mph on the radar gun into the eighth inning. It was much needed as the Yankee offense scratched out a mere four hits.
One of those four big hits came in the seventh stanza, as Sanchez pinch-hit for Kyle Higashioka. Much like the prior evening, Andujar set the table with a leadoff hit. With one out, Sanchez slaughtered a 3-1 fastball to left for the go-ahead homer.
Toronto was set up after a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. single and a Hernandez double. After a Randal Grichuk strikeout, Blue Jays pinch-hitter Santiago Espinal tapped back to Chapman, who threw to Sanchez, who in turn caught Gurrerro Jr., who couldn’t get back to third base in time. With two down and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. at the plate, it looked like Gurriel Jr. had swung and missed at a pitch which would’ve enabled the Jays to tie the game. However, it was ruled a foul ball and the call was not reviewable. Later in the at-bat, Chapman would get Gurriel Jr. to fly out to right for the final out.
Once again the Yankees pushed the right buttons, made some sparkling defensive plays, and unleashed a thundering herd of homers. It all added up to building a snowman in Buffalo with an 8-4 victory.
Things looked dicey for Michael King and company in the first frame. However, they were able to turn your garden variety 1-3-6-2-5-6 triple play.
Yet, the Blue Jays would peck away against King and the Yankee bullpen, ultimately gaining a 4-3 lead on a Grichuck single to center off Chad Green in the sixth. It could’ve been much worse, however, the pendulum appeared to swing back as Aaron Judge robbed Biggio of a home run in right.
Later during the inning, that button-pushing punk Boone was on point again. Boone sent up Gittens to pinch-hit for Wade and the big man delivered with a two-run single to right off Mayza. Gittens increased the lead with a sac fly in the eighth inning for good measure to cap off the scoring.