Just when you thought the Yankees were tightening their grasp on a playoff spot, Bo Bichette and the Toronto Blue Jays put a halt to their hot streak.
Toronto ended the Yankees’ seven-game winning streak Wednesday behind two home runs from Bichette — including a go-ahead solo shot in the eighth — beating New York 6-5 and crept closer in the AL Wild Card race.
For Toronto, the win puts them one-game back of Boston for the second Wild Card spot, the Yankees remain one up on the Red Sox for the first Wild Card.
The Blue Jays jumped on Yankees ace Gerrit Cole early, getting out to a 4-0 lead after four innings. Marcus Semien hit a two-run shot in the first, and Toronto was able to tack on a run in both the second and third innings. Bichette launched the first of his two solo home runs in the third inning with a 412-foot shot to right.
The Yankees were able to claw back, tying the game at 5-5 on a two-run single by Kyle Higashioka in the seventh inning.
But Bichette wasn’t going to allow Toronto to blow their early lead, hitting a go-ahead solo shot off of Yankees reliever Clay Holmes to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning.
“I still really haven’t calmed down yet,” Bichette said. “Just a lot of excitement. Big spot and I got the job done, so it felt good.”
For New York, the start by Cole was a major disappointment. Cole had an opportunity to put some distance between the Yankees and Blue Jays and failed. Five earned runs in six innings isn’t what the Yankees pay him $36 million a year for.
“I think we’re running into some really tough teams,” Cole told reporters. “I just was not quite sharp enough today. That’s just the bottom line. I think that I certainly showed the ability to make the pitches that we needed to over the course of the game. I just didn’t make enough of them.”
Cole may be available to pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays if needed in game 162 on three-day rest, but Cole has a 6.15 ERA in his last five starts and has faltered when the Yankees have needed him most.
“Physically, I think the velocity is in a good spot,” Cole told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch after the game. “Things have rebounded well since a couple of those injury mishaps. I’m in a good enough spot to make enough good pitches. I’ve just got to make those pitches at the right times.”
Toronto and New York conclude their three-game series Thursday night, with Corey Kluber [5-3, 3.82 ERA] on the bump for the Yankees and AL Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray [13-6, 2.68 ERA] getting the start for Toronto.
The Yankees magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three, with Thursday’s game against Toronto and a three-game series against AL East division winner Tampa Bay left on the schedule.
Toronto will host the last-place Orioles to end the year and Boston finishes their season against the Washington Nationals. The Seattle Mariners — 0.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot — end the regular season with a three-game series against the Angels.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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