The Yankees (16-10) lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-1, at the Rogers Centre in the series opener. The Yankees swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in their previous three games and got yet another solid pitching performance but this time their offense didn’t produce.
R.A. Dickey, who had an impressive 2.87 ERA in seven starts against the Yankees from the 2012 season through the 2014 season, only allowed one run and three hits in eight innings pitched. The Yankees have not had any success against the veteran knuckleballer and that continued on Monday night as he didn’t allow a hit in the first, third, fourth, fifth and eighth innings.
Chase Headley had the team’s first hit of the game in the second inning. However, Garrett Jones’s ground out to shortstop stranded him at first. In the sixth inning the Yankees had runners on first and second with two outs, after a double by Jacoby Ellsbury and a walk by Brett Gardner, but Alex Rodriguez flied out to right to strand both runners.
Rodriguez’s next homer will give him 561 and put him in sole possession of fourth place on the all-time homers list. He is currently tied for fourth with Willie Mays.
The Yankees scored their only run in the seventh inning. Jones’s ground out to first scored Carlos Beltran after he had doubled and been advanced to third on Stephen Drew’s ground out to first. Beltran is now on a modest four-game hitting streak and is hitting more extra-base hits than he did earlier in the season.
Four different players were 0-3 or 0-4 and the offensive’s ineptitude prevented Chase Whitley from getting his second win of his season in his second start. Whitely had six strikeouts, no walks and only allowed seven hits in his seven scoreless innings while only throwing 90 pitches. The Yankees could not have asked for a better performance from the 25-year-old right hander.
It’s unfortunate that we didn’t score some runs to get Whitley the win,” Joe Girardi said. “His location has continued to improve as a starter. His strikeouts came in key spots.” His changeup has also improved from last year, which gives him another way to keep hitters off balance. It appears that Whitley will be a reliable fill-in while Masahiro Tanaka is on the disabled list.
The Yankees had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth but the bullpen, which has dominated this season and has rarely given up runs, allowed two earned runs and one unearned run in the eighth. Chris Marin came in to start the inning and allowed two consecutive singles after recording one out. Dellin Betances allowed a double to Edwin Encarnacion that scored Josh Donaldson but that run and the second run scored in the inning were both charged to Martin.
The third run that Toronto scored was unearned because of a throwing error by Chase Headley. Russell Martin hit a hard grounder down the line that Headley made an outstanding play on and if Mark Teixeira was playing first instead of Jones he likely would have been able to catch the short hop.
As a result of the error that was called on Headley, Betances still has a 0.00 ERA on the season. He has 26 strikeouts in his 15.1 innings pitched and has only walked two batters in his last 10 appearances after struggling with his control in the first week of the campaign.
The Yankees will look to score more runs on Tuesday night when they will not be facing a knuckleball pitcher.