The Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday night. Hiroki Kuroda allowed three runs and struck out four in 6.1 effective innings and Mark Teixeira drove in three of the five runs.
Teixeira hit a two-run homer to right to drive in Jacoby Ellsbury in the third to make the score 4-1. Then, in the seventh inning, he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Brett Gardner.
In his last seven games, Teixeira has a .222 average, but an impressive four runs scored, three homers and six RBIs. He has stepped up recently when not many of the other power hitters have. Teixeira leads the team with his 14 homers and 39 RBIs.
“Just trying to do damage,” Teixeira said. “We need runs right now. Any time I get a chance to drive in runs, I will take that opportunity.” In response to the importance of this win Teixeira said: “Hopefully this gives us confidence, enjoy the off day, and go get them on Friday.”
The Yankees are an MLB best 23-12 in games decided by two runs or less. They were able to win by two runs because Kuroda was able to rebound well from allowing a home run to Jose Reyes in the first inning while the bullpen did not allow a run in 2.2 innings.
Helping Kuroda was the outstanding diving catch that Gardner made in foul territory. The Blue Jays scored two in the fifth, but they would have scored more if Reyes’s ground rule double stayed in the park because Munenori Kawasaki would have scored. After this ground rule double, Melky Cabrera, who has a .351 average with four homers this season against his former team, hit a single to right to score Kawasaki and Reyes.
For the first run of the game for the Yankees, in the third inning, Kelly Johnson scored after Francisco Cervelli hit a double off of the wall. Johnson scored as a result of a hit and run play called by Girardi. With two outs in the inning Ellsbury hit a single up the middle that easily scored Cervelli. Including Teixeira’s homer, the Yankees were able to score three of their four runs in the fourth inning with two outs.
The Yankees scored four runs in six innings off of Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison. The Yankees offense has had a lot of success against the 23-year-old righty this season as he has a 9.22 ERA and 19 hits in three starts against the Yankees this season.
Ellsbury was caught stealing in the ninth inning after hitting a single off of Todd Redmond. It was his first time being caught stealing in his last 13 attempts.
“It’s good to leave here with one, it is not what you want, but it sure beats the alternative,” Girardi said.
David Robertson had a very impressive outing while giving the Yankees exactly what they needed. He was economical as he threw 22 pitches in his 1.2 innings. He recorded three strikeouts and no hits after not having pitched since June 18. He actually has a higher strikeout per 9 innings ratio than the impressive possible All-Star Dellin Betances, who was not available after throwing two innings in Tuesday’s loss.
Robertson picked up his 18th save of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.08. He has the fourth most saves in the American League, and Robertson is only four saves behind the Greg Holland’s 22 for most in the AL.
Girardi said that: “I knew I had Robertson for four or five outs and I chose to use him for five.”
With the win in the series finale, the Yankees now have a 40-37 record to move up to 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays. They will start a three-game series against the fourth-place Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Friday.