Yankees blow out Blue Jay 20-6, move into 2nd place in AL East
New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit tags out Toronto Blue Jays' Alejandro Kirk during the first inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Ronald Blum, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, September 15, 2020 10:44PM EDT
NEW YORK - Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks homered to key a seven-run second-inning burst made possible when right fielder Derek Fisher misplayed a pair of flyballs, and the New York Yankees rocketed past the Toronto Blue Jays into second place in the AL East with a 20-6 blowout Tuesday night that extended their winning streak to six.
Voit homered twice, raising his major league-leading total to 18, and had five RBIs for the Yankees, who have rebounded following a 5-15 stretch and put themselves back on track to reach the expanded playoffs. New York (27-21) and Toronto (26-21) started a stretch of seven games against each other in the final two weeks of the season.
DJ LeMahieu had four hits and five RBIs, raising his average 13 points to .363, LeMahieu homered on a 48.7 mph offering from infielder Santiago Espinal leading off eighth, the slowest pitch hit for a home run since MLB started tracking in 2008.
LeMahieu, batting leadoff, and Voit, hitting behind him, combined to mark the first time in Yankees history both the No. 1 and 2 hitters had five RBIs in the same game.
Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer off Anthony Kay and Clint Frazier had a two-run shot against Ryan Borucki.
Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela returned from the injured list for the Yankees, who expect to get Aaron Judge back Wednesday or Thursday.
Stanton was 0 for 4 with a walk as the designated hitter, the only Yankees starter without a hit, after missing 32 games because of a strained left hamstring. Urshela had three hits and made several sparking defensive plays at third after missing 11 games with a right elbow bone spur.
Judge, limited to one game since Aug. 11 because of a strained right calf, could return Wednesday or Thursday.
But Gleyber Torres was out with a left quadriceps issue and New York manager Aaron Boone said James Paxton had not yet started to throw in his rehabilitation of a strained left flexor tendon, a sign the left-hander may not return this season.
Rookie Deivi Garcia (2-1) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
New York scored its most runs since a 20-6 win at Atlanta on Aug. 30, 2015. The Yankees batted around in the second, third and fourth innings, the first time they achieved the feat in three consecutive frames since doing it from the fifth through eighth innings in a 22-9 rout of Oakland on Aug. 25, 2011, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Taijuan Walker was chased after 1 2/3 innings that included six unearned runs, and Shun Yamaguchi followed with a second inning out of youth ball. The 33-year-old right-hander, who signed with the Blue Jays for this season after 14 years in the Japanese major leagues, walked his first three batters, hit the next two, allowed LeMahieu's three-run double and also threw a wild pitch and committed a balk.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a solo homer, single and double. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run homer in the fourth for the Blue Jays, who host a four-game series against the Yankees next week in Buffalo.
Yamaguchi, like Walker (3-3), allowed seven runs but all of Yamaguchi's were earned. Toronto needed 190 pitches to get 24 outs.
Walker got the first out of the bottom half before allowing Urshela's double. Frazier hit a routine fly to the warning track that glanced off Fisher's glove for an error; Frazier didn't run hard and wound up at first.
Two pitches later, Fisher tried for a backhand grab on the warning track and missed Brett Gardner's drive, which fell for a tying single. Tyler Wade and LeMahieu followed with RBI singles for a 3-1 lead, and Voit hit a three-run drive that landed in the left-field bleachers 426 feet from the plate, bounded off the back wall and the slowly down the 19 rows of empty bleachers to the front row. Hicks drove the next pitch into the second deck in right.
Voit added a solo homer off Ken Giles in the sixth.
Toronto had won eight of its previous 12 games. Cavan Biggio, a 25-year-old son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, made his second straight start at third base. He had started mostly at second and occasionally in the outfield prior to Sunday.
Toronto traded RHP Justin Miller to Cincinnati for international signing bonus pool allotment.
Blue Jays: C Caleb Joseph cleared waivers and his contract was assigned outright to the alternate training site, and he physically was at Yankee Stadium with the taxi squad. ... To clear room for Stanton and Urhsela, INF-OF Miguel Andujar, INF Mike Ford and were optioned to the alternate training site.
RHP Gerrit Cole (5-3) starts for New York, seeking to join Justin Verlander, Roy Osawlt and Mark Mulder as the only pitchers since 2000 to reach 100 career wins in 203 or fewer appearances. RHP Tanner Roark (2-1) starts for Toronto.