After handling the first-placed New York Yankees with surprising panache in the series opener, it was back to form for the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
You had your daily dose of poor judgment on the base paths, an early wasted scoring opportunity, and a ragged outing from a young pitcher still learning the ropes at the Major League level.
The final score was 11-4 for the Yankees in a laborious affair at Rogers Centre that started with the roof opened and finished more than 3 1/2-hours later with it capped tightly shut.
With the win the Yankees (91-66) maintained their slender one-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East.
The Yankees wasted no time in getting to Toronto starter Chad Jenkins, who was making just his second big league start.
Jenkins recorded two quick outs in the first inning before allowing back-to-back singles to Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.
Both baserunners would then score when Nick Swisher stroked a double to right-centre that put New York ahead 2-0.
Jenkins (0-3) would last just 3 2/3 innings, allowing three New York runs off four hits, while walking three and striking out two.
The win went to New York’s Hiroki Kuroda, who scattered 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings and allowed two of the Toronto runs to improve his record to 15-11.
The Blue Jays were up to their old, annoying tricks, managing five hits – three of them doubles – plus a walk over the first two innings and somehow managing to come away empty handed.
That’s rather difficult to do.
It didn’t help in the first inning when Brett Lawrie, who led off with a double, was thrown out at second by Yankee first baseman Nick Swisher after he gloved a hard hit ball off the bat of Colby Rasmus.
Swisher alertly went to second after he noticed that Lawrie had strayed a bit too far off the bag for the put out.
In the second inning, Yunel Escobar was caught taking too big a lead at third base after a Kelly Johnson strikeout and was thrown out at the bag on a nice peg by Yankee catcher Russell Martin.
The Blue Jays would go on to load the bases after that for Rasmus, who made like a mannequin – only with longer hair – and watched a called third strike to waste the opportunity.
“We answered his pitches with some hard hit balls,” Jays`manager John Farrell said. “We took ourselves out of a couple of those run scoring situations with some anticipation that didn’t work out well. Obviously those things are addressed, they’re continued to be discussed in advance of and during and after.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have anything to show for the five hits through the first two innings.”
It went that way for most of the night, a contest that the Blue Jays appeared to have no interest in winning.
Toronto-born Martin logged the big hit for New York, a three-run homer in the four-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach.
The home run was the 20th of the season for Martin, a career high.
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