TORONTO – Jose Reyes scored the winning run on a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees 7-6 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.
Reyes led off with a double off New York reliever Adam Warren (1-4). Melky Cabrera dropped down a sacrifice bunt that third baseman Yangervis Solarte threw wide to first base, allowing Reyes to trot home for the walkoff victory.
It was Toronto’s second straight victory over its American League East rival. The division-leading Blue Jays (44-35) moved 3 1/2 games ahead of third-place New York (39-37) with the win.
The Yankees have dropped four games in a row. Casey Janssen (2-0) worked the ninth inning for the victory.
Both teams were quiet over the first three innings before Toronto put up three runs in the fourth on New York starter David Phelps.
Adam Lind led off with an infield single and moved to second on a single by Edwin Encarnacion. After a Colby Rasmus strikeout, Navarro sent a 1-2 pitch into the second deck for his fourth home run of the season.
The Blue Jays opened with back-to-back singles again in the fifth, this time by Munenori Kawasaki and Reyes. Phelps struck out Cabrera and got Lind to pop up before a couple of suspect plays by Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter proved costly.
Encarnacion hit a ground ball to Jeter that should have ended the inning. However, the veteran infielder briefly thought about going for the forceout and by the time he threw to first base, Encarnacion had crossed the bag.
That loaded the bases for Rasmus, who drove a pitch off the wall that was about a foot short of a grand slam. Kawasaki and Reyes scored easily and Rasmus made the turn for second base as Encarnacion rounded third.
The cutoff man threw to second base, where Jeter had Rasmus caught in a rundown. With Encarnacion thinking about coming home, Jeter committed to making a tag on Rasmus but couldn’t catch him as he dove back to first base, allowing another run to score.
Jeter put New York on the board in the next inning with a rainbow solo shot off Toronto starter Mark Buehrle for his second homer of the season.
The Yankees tied the game with a five-run seventh inning. Brian McCann doubled and Brian Roberts followed with a home run that curled just inside the foul pole in left field. It was his third homer of the year.
Buehrle was pulled after giving up a two-out double to Brett Gardner. Dustin McGowan came on and walked Jeter before giving up a single to left field by Jacoby Ellsbury.
Cabrera’s throw home was offline and it bounced to the backstop, allowing Gardner to score and the runners to advance. McGowan got Mark Teixeira to hit a chopper to second base but Reyes was low with his throw to first for his second throwing error of the game.
Two runs came across to tie it, but of greater concern was the health of Encarnacion. The Toronto first baseman was accidentally elbowed in the head by Teixeira as he leaned back towards the bag after trying to scoop the ball out of the dirt.
Encarnacion was face down on the ground for several seconds as a hush came over the crowd of 34,206. A team trainer and manager John Gibbons came out onto the field to check on him and Encarnacion eventually shook it off and stayed in the game.
Aaron Loup relieved McGowan and got Carlos Beltran to hit a comebacker for the third out.
Encarnacion drew a walk in the eighth inning and moved to third on Navarro’s one-out single. Steve Tolleson walked to load the bases for pinch-hitter Anthony Gose, who grounded into a forceout. Reliever Dellin Betances struck out Kawasaki to end the threat.
Janssen came on in the ninth inning and gave up a single to Gardner. Jeter then lashed a ball that hit Janssen on his right side but the pitcher chased it down and made the play at first.
Gardner moved to second base and advanced to third when Ellsbury grounded out. With the crowd on its feet, Janssen fanned Teixiera with a 72 mile-per-hour curveball.
© The Canadian Press, 2014