New York Yankees flex their muscles to throttle Blue Jays as four-game series tied, 1-1

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Their margin for error is so thin, the Jays’ bullpen even thinner, that when opportunity knocks it’s a must to make the absolute most of the moment.

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In the second game of a four-game series against the New York Yankees played Friday with the Rogers Centre roof closed, the Blue Jays failed to fully capitalize and were held to two runs in the fifth inning.

It would come back to haunt the Jays as the Yankees fully capitalized on their opportunity by scoring six runs in the sixth inning en route to a 16-5 win.

Yusei Kikuchi and Marcus Stroman deserved better — in particular Kikuchi — as neither starter figured in the decision.

The Jays used the long ball in Thursday’s 9-2 win. Friday night, it was the Yankees who flexed their muscles.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did make things interesting when he went deep in the seventh inning, his fifth homer in the past seven games.

It was Vlad Jr. who stepped up to the plate, bases loaded, none out, in the fifth inning in a 1-1 game.

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He beat out a potential double play ball as the Jays took a 2-1 lead.

The Jays would once again load the bases in the inning, scoring another run when George Springer took a pitch off his left hand. While two runs scored, the Jays should have built a larger lead.

In the sixth inning, the Yankees had their first two hitters reach base.

Juan Soto got ahead of the count 3-0 then obliterated a Kikuchi offering deep into right field on a green light special as the Yankees took their first lead of the night. And so ended Kikuchi’s evening.

Enter Nate Pearson, who gave up a sharply hit single to Aaron Judge, who quickly scored on a J.D. Davis double. The Yankees then broke the game open when Gleyber Torres went deep for a two-run moon shot.

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New York scored six runs without recording an out in taking a 7-3 lead.

When the Jays took their swings in the seventh, Davis Schneider was used as a pinch hitter for Springer.

It would later be revealed that an imaging on Springer’s hand came back negative. The official diagnosis is a left hand contusion.

Tim Mayza started the ninth and could not retire a batter, giving up three runs on five hits before he was mercifully pulled, leaving runners on second and third.

Bowden Francis became Toronto’s sixth pitcher to be used on this night, giving up a sac fly and back-to-back singles as the Yankees piled it on.

Terrific on Thursday, the Blue Jays were horrific one night later in yielding a season-high in runs because the Yankees took advantage of every opportunity they created, while feasting on a porous Toronto pen.

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Predictably, Bo Bichette’s pre-game remarks Thursday were completely blown out of proportion, which is quite typical in today’s social media world where the idiom of making a mountain out of a molehill aptly describes the hysteria that ensued.

When asked by Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae if he would be surprised if the Blue Jays decided to move Bichette ahead of the July 30 trade deadline, the ever frank Bichette said no.

It went viral.

Bichette, who is as savvy as they come, knows baseball is a business. He knows the Blue Jays have dug themselves a deep hole, one they are unlikely to escape. He knows changes await.

He never asked to be traded and even GM Ross Atkins admitted there’s been no talk of making such a bold move when the focus is on the present.

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Bichette is under contract for this season and next.

Obviously, a decision will have to be made one day. That day is not anytime soon.

If the Jays do make franchise-altering moves, they will likely play out in the off-season and not in-season when one considers how much is on the team’s plate, both on and off the diamond.

That’s not to say changes won’t happen in the ensuing weeks.

For those jumping to conclusions, it’s recommended to exercise common sense, which, dare we say, is not very common.


The hit pitch aside, Springer followed up his two-homer night with an epic first at-bat against Stroman.

After forcing a full count, Springer turned on a pitch that Stroman left over the plate and promptly drove it through the hole and into left field. Springer’s single scored Bichette, who led off the inning by drawing a walk.

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For Springer, it was his seventh hit and ninth RBI in the past three games.

Another veteran who has found his hitting groove is Justin Turner.

In his first at-bat, Turner reached base on a single to extend his hitting streak to five games. Turner has recorded at least one hit in eight of his past nine games.

In the fifth inning, Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to lead off the frame as he extended his hit streak to 12 games.

He went deep against his former team on a two-out solo belt in the sixth inning, his seventh homer of the season.


Toronto’s best two arms in the bullpen, namely Jordan Romano and Yimi Garcia, might be able to return before the all-star break.

Baseball’s mid-summer classic will be staged July 16 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Tex., home of the reigning World Series champion Rangers.

With the Jays in the midst of an eight-game homestand — Houston will be in town beginning Canada Day — don’t expect to see either Romano and Garcia on the mound for any of the team’s remaining home dates.

Toronto will be in Seattle, San Francisco and Phoenix before the all-star break kicks in.

The good news is each is throwing from 120 feet with the possibility both could be heaving pitches off a mound this weekend.

Both Romano and Garcia went on the IL because of elbow issues.

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