Toronto Blue Jays reliever Daniel Hudson sat alone on the bench after the final out, needing a minute to decompress.
He certainly deserved it.
With a tribute to former teammate Tyler Skaggs written on his cap, Hudson got Luke Voit to look at strike three with runners at the corners to secure the Blue Jays’ 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Saturday.
“It’s a grind of a lineup over there,” the 32-year old pitcher said. “One mistake and that game’s over. I was just down there trying to cool off and mentally just relax for a second.”
Hudson posted his second save while Voit went 0 for 3 with two walks after being activated from the injured list.
Hudson was needed to finish the game because Toronto closer Ken Giles was unavailable due to nerve inflammation in his elbow that potentially stemmed from a massage he had over the All-Star break.
A possible trade target, Giles missed 10 days in June with a mild case of elbow inflammation, but Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo noted that this new case was unrelated to his previous one. Giles is considered day-to-day and is not scheduled for tests.
The AL East-leading Yankees, who have not been shut out in more than a year, scored with two outs in the ninth inning on Aaron Judge’s fourth hit of the game, a single off third baseman Brandon Drury’s glove.
The Yankees have now scored in 172 straight games, the fifth-longest streak in the majors since 1900. They were last shut out on June 30, 2018, in a game in which Boston’s Chris Sale pitched one-hit ball for seven innings.
The modern record is 308 in 1931-33 by the Yankees of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
“It’s always surprising when you get held down like that,” New York manager Aaron Boone said.
Toronto’s Randal Grichuk provided the offence with a two-run single and made a diving catch with the bases loaded.
Joe Biagini (3-1) got one out, allowing a hit and walk, and picked up the win. Toronto starter Clayton Richard left after two innings with left lat tightness and five relievers followed.
“They used their whole bullpen today and kind of kept us off-balance,” Judge said.
Grichuk’s bloop single came in the sixth after the Blue Jays put two on against starter J.A. Happ (7-5). Adam Ottavino relieved and struck out Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and a double steal set up Grichuk’s hit.
Biagini relieved with two outs in the fifth, and a single by Judge and a walk to Voit loaded the bases. Gary Sanchez hit a liner up the middle and Grichuk rushed in to make a diving catch.
The Blue Jays got eight hits, and Grichuk was the only Toronto player with two.
“Any one of the nine guys that they put out there can drive the ball out of the ballpark,” Grichuk said. “So anytime you can hold them down to zero runs obviously is a huge accomplishment, but one (run) is right there with that.”
Happ, plagued by the home run in his first full season with Yankees, didn’t allow a ball to leave the park for the second straight start.