Chris Bassitt foils Yankees as Blue Jays make it three straight wins

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Once again, the Blue Jays didn’t do a whole lot of hitting, but then Chris Bassitt didn’t need much run support.

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For the second consecutive start, Bassitt used his 16 or so different pitches efficiently and effectively, holding the Yankees down enough to make the Jays’ four hits stand up in a 3-1 victory on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

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It was the third win in a row for the Jays, establishing a season high, and got them back above .500 at 9-8 for the first time since they won the season opener in Tampa.

Obviously, Bassitt doesn’t have 16 different pitches but he does have a full arsenal and he used it to great advantage, striking out five and limiting the Yanks to just four hits and improving his personal record to 2-2 after a bit of a tough start to the year.

“I always feel like I am a start or two behind just because of the way I go about my off-season,” Bassitt said. “I try to do my best to make quality starters every time out, no excuses, but physically I finally feel really good and a couple of starts in I feel like I’m hitting my spots better.”

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The lone run against him came in the second when the Yankees put three singles together with Oswaldo Cabrera driving in Gleyber Torres.

Unlike his counterpart, Luis Gil, who had some real issues finding the strike zone, Bassitt limited his walks to just two.

Gil handed out seven free passes in his five innings, and, frankly, was lucky to escape giving up just the three runs.

He walked seven including three in the Jays’ two-run second in which they scored on a bases-loaded walk to third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa and on a wild pitch.

The lone run the Jays actually drove in came in the third when Alejandro Kirk’s double into the left-field corner scored Bo Bichette from second.

Kirk had himself a fine night, first being in total synch with Bassitt on the mound, and then at the plate delivering with a pair of hits and a walk including that RBI double in his four plate appearances. He managed to score standing up on a passed ball in the second, and threw Trent Grisham out at second but it was the double that stood out for him.

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“Definitely the double,” Kirk said. “First extra base hit of the season and we won the game.”

The Jays bullpen once again carried this one home with Tim Mayza, Chad Green, and Yimi Garcia, who collected the save, combining to retire the final eight Yankees in order.

The Jays and Yankees go at it again today with Yusei Kikuchi trying to make it four wins in a row for the Jays aginst Yankees lefty Carlos Rodon.

JANSEN RETURNS

Catcher Danny Jansen is back with the Blue Jays, bringing some much needed offence with him.

Jansen suffered a small fracture in the pisiform bone at the base of his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch on March 13.

In his absence, Kirk has handled the majority of the catching duties with Brian Serven picking up the odd game before his return to Buffalo on Monday.

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Kirk is normally an above average catcher but has struggled somewhat out of the gate this year. He came into Monday night’s game hitting just .170 and still looking for his first home run. Kirk, though, always catches Bassitt so Jansen did not return to duty immediately but was available to come off the bench.

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YANKEES CALLS WON’T BE THE SAME

Those familiar and utterly unique calls that rolled off the tongue for long-time Yankees broadcaster John Sterling will roll no longer.

Sterling, at the age of 85, announced his retirement effective immediately on Monday. Sterling was not on the road trip with the Yanks, who had been in Houston and arrived in Toronto on Monday, but there was little indication Sterling was ready to silence his mic until Monday.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone used the words “bummed out” and “sad” in describing his reaction to the news “but certainly just want him to be in a good spot and healthy.”

Some medical issues had prevented Sterling from travelling with the team this year but as recently as the Yankees homestand that ended with the Jays last week, he was behind the mic.

He called every Yankees game from the day he began in 1989 until the summer of 2019 when he missed his first game, snapping a string of 5,060 consecutive games. To put that number in perspective, Toronto’s own voice of baseball, Tom Cheek, had a run of 4,306 consecutive games before missing a game in Oakland following the death of his father.

Sterling leaves the WFAN broadcast booth a content man.

“I am a very blessed human being,” Sterling said in a released statement. “I have been able to do what I wanted, broadcasting for 64 years. As a little boy growing up in New York as a Yankees fan, I was able to broadcast the Yankees for 36 years. It’s all to my benefit, and I leave very, very happy. I look forward to seeing everyone again on Saturday.”

On Saturday, the Yankees will celebrate the 64 years that Sterling gave them at Yankee Stadium prior to a game with Tampa.

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