Blue Jays begin final home series with 8-1 win against Yankees
Gregory Strong, The Associated Press
Published Friday, September 22, 2017 9:21PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 22, 2017 11:19PM EDT
TORONTO - First Ryan Goins burned the Yankees with the hidden ball trick. His next act put the game out of reach.
Goins belted a grand slam off Masahiro Tanaka in the sixth inning to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to an 8-1 win over New York on Friday night. The blast ended Goins' 0-for-22 drought against Tanaka over his career.
“He was due to get off the schneid sooner or later anyway and he did it in the biggest way you could,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
Russell Martin had a two-run homer and Teoscar Hernandez chipped in with a solo shot as Toronto stopped New York's three-game win streak.
Goins ended Tanaka's night when he turned on an 0-2 pitch for his eighth homer of the season. While his average with the bases loaded improved to a remarkable .714 (10-for-14) this year, he wasn't brimming with confidence as he stepped to the plate.
“I think the numbers are pretty clear,” Goins said. “I've never hit a ball out of the infield off Tanaka, much less in the air ... I just told myself to get a good pitch and not make another out.”
It was the Yankees' second loss in their last nine games. Coupled with Boston's 5-4 win over Cincinnati, New York (85-68) fell four games behind the first-place Red Sox in the American League East division standings.
Starter Marco Estrada (10-8) worked seven strong innings to help the last-place Blue Jays (72-82) take the opener of the three-game series, which will close out Toronto's home schedule.
The only hiccup on Estrada's line was a solo shot by rookie sensation Aaron Judge in the first inning. His 46th homer of the season landed in the second level of seats after travelling a projected 469 feet.
“It was one of the hardest hit balls I've ever given up,” Estrada said. “It actually was a good pitch. I was trying to go up and in on him, I got it in there and he turned on it. So you tip your hat to that.”
The Blue Jays pulled even in the bottom half with an unearned run.
Hernandez singled and moved to third when second baseman Starlin Castro missed Todd Frazier's throw on a potential double-play ball. Jose Bautista hit a slow chopper that brought home the speedy leadoff man.
Bautista delivered some stellar defence in the third inning. With Frazier on second, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a drive to right field that Bautista chased down near the warning track.
Frazier had to scamper back to the base to avoid being doubled off. Goins then burned him by faking a throw to the pitcher and applying the tag when Frazier lifted his foot off the base.
“I just mess around with it sometimes and finally for the first time it works out,” Goins said. “It was different so it was fun.”
Frazier said he should have known better, adding the Blue Jays took control of the game after that.
“Bonehead play by me, to be honest with you,” he said.
Hernandez did his best Judge impression in the bottom half of the frame to put the Blue Jays ahead. The 24-year-old hit a no-doubt moonshot that bounced off the windows in the 300 level at Rogers Centre.
His third homer of the season was followed an inning later by Martin's 13th blast of the campaign.
In the sixth, Tanaka walked Bautista, gave up a single to Kevin Pillar and issued a two-out walk to Kendrys Morales to load the bases.
Goins followed with his second career grand slam. His 10 hits with the bases loaded this season leads the major leagues and tied Carlos Delgado's club record from 2003.
Tanaka (12-12) allowed six hits, seven earned runs, three walks and had six strikeouts. Estrada allowed three hits, one earned run and three walks while striking out four.
Toronto outhit New York 7-3. Announced attendance was 42,153 and the game took two hours 32 minutes to play.