Behind seven scoreless innings from David Price and a heck of late-inning escape from Brett Cecil, the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 4-2 on Monday night in the first game of a critical AL East showdown at Rogers Centre.
Price gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out seven batters. The Blue Jays got most of their offense early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Adam Warren didn’t make it out of the fourth inning for New York.
The Yankees finally got something going in the eighth, as Didi Gregorius walked and Dustin Ackley singled off Aaron Sanchez to begin the frame. Cecil took over from there and gave up an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury, but the southpaw escaped the jam by striking out Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, and Brian McCann in succession. Young closer Roberto Osuna gave up a solo homer to Greg Bird with two outs in the ninth, but he was able to finish off the victory for his 17th save.
Price improved to 17-5 with the win and leads the American League with a 2.34 ERA. The southpaw has a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts with the Blue Jays. By the way, four of those starts have been against the Yankees. He has a 1.71 ERA in those outings. Talk about a difference-maker.
The Blue Jays lead the Yankees by 3 1/2 games in the American League East with 12 games to play. Their magic number sits at ten.
Mets second baseman Robinson Canó is not in the lineup for Monday’s series opener against the division rival Nationals. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, it’s punishment for failing to run hard on a pair of double plays over the weekend against the Marlins.
Manager Mickey Callaway said, “He understands that it’s unacceptable to not run balls out. He understands that he needs to do that at all times.”
Canó first gaffe came in the top of the seventh inning on Friday, with his team trailing 7-3. Facing Adam Conley, Canó hit a grounder back to the pitcher, who turned a 1-6-3 double play. Canó was only halfway up the first base line when the throw got to first base.
In the fourth inning on Sunday, with the game still scoreless, Canó tapped a Sandy Alcantara pitch in the dirt. Thinking it was foul, Canó didn’t run, but catcher Chad Wallach charged and grabbed the ball while it was still in fair territory. He threw to second base for the force out and then the ball was easily whipped to first base to complete the double play as Canó still thought it was foul.
This likely wouldn’t be as big a deal as it currently is if Canó were actually producing at the plate and if the Mets weren’t in a freefall. Canó has a .245/.293/.374 batting line on the season. Meanwhile, the Mets are 20-25 and riding a five-game losing streak which includes having been shut out in each of their last two games.