If the Blue Jays are going to make a move on the Yankees for the AL East, this is the weekend in which they should get moving. And so far, so good: Jose Bautista homered with one out in the 10th inning to give the Jays their sixth straight win and to pull them to within three and a half games of the Bronx Bombers.
All the runs scored in the game came on homers: Bautista’s in the tenth and one each from Mark Teixeira and Josh Donaldson. The dingers not withstanding, it was a pitching duel, with R.A. Dickey allowing only one run over seven innings and Nate Eovaldi allowing the same while pitching into the seventh. Dickey was the second knuckleballer the Yankees faced in two days and they’re likely happy to be done with them.
Of course, they have to face David Price this afternoon, and it’s not like that’s leaps and bounds better, right?
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 1
Cubs 7, Giants 3
Pirates 5, Dodgers 4
Rockies 5, Nationals 4
Red Sox 7, Tigers 2
Twins 10, Indians 9
Mets 4, Rays 3
Braves 6, Marlins 3
Royals 3, White Sox 2
Cardinals 6, Brewers 0
Diamondbacks 2, Reds 0
Angels 8, Royals 4
Athletics 3, Astros 1
Mariners 4, Rangers 3
Phillies 4, Padres 3
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.