The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Friday night for their seventh win in their last eight games since the All-Star break.It was their fourth win in a row, and since the All-Star break their record has improved from 47-47 to 54-48. They are now in sole possession of the second Wild Card and 2.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
Hiroki Kuoda was able to rebound from Jose Bautista’s three-run homer in the first to make it through 5.2 innings and only allow one additional run. Kuroda gave up an additional homer to Bautista, eight hits, only one walk and three strikeouts. The two pitches that he would like to have back are the homers to Bautista, but thanks to his offense picking him up he was able to get his seventh win of the season.
There have been many times that the offense did not score for Kuroda when he pitched well, which makes this win that much better since the offense finally picked him up after he didn’t have his best stuff. Every Yankee in the lineup had a hit besides Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, and four out of the six RBIs were driven in by the bottom third of the order. The other two were driven in on a solo homer by Carlos Beltran in the third and a sacrifice fly by Gardner in the second that drove in Chase Headley.
“The bottom of our order did a lot of damage tonight,” Joe Girardi said. “That is good to see.”
Brian Roberts, who was hitting eighth, drove in the first run of the game for the Yankees in the second inning with an infield single that scored Brian McCann. Ichiro Suzuki was the offensive star of the game as his first home run of the season, in the third inning, drove in McCann and Headley to give team a 6-4 lead. Derek Jeter gave him the the silent treatment and then started laughing.
It was expected that Mark Buehrle could struggle in this game because he previously had a 5.81 ERA with a record of 1-11 against the Yankees in his career.He is now 1-12 with a higher career ERA against the Bronx Bombers. Ichiro Suzuki is a hitter who has owned Buehrle as he is now 24-58, .414 average, in his career against the veteran. Buehrle has 196 wins and 1,738 strikeouts, which makes it hard to explain his repeated struggles against the Yankees.
The Yankees have gotten the offensive upgrade that they wanted from Chase Headley. In four games since being traded from the San Diego Padres, Headley has a .429 average with two runs scored and two RBIs.”I feel comfortable at the plate,” Headley said. “I feel like I am swinging at pitches that I want to for the most part. The change of circumstances for me has been a lot of fun.”
Dellin Betances did not allow a run in the eighth inning and thenDavid Robertson converted his 26th save in 28 chances in the ninth inning. Betances and Robertson have been so good this season that they resemble the dominance of Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland in 1996.
Francisco Cervelli has hit very well recently just like Headley. He is on a seven-game hitting streak and is hitting .391 with four doubles in that span. He has been playing more consistently recently as a result of Mark Teixeira’s injury moving Brian McCann to first base.
The recently acquired Chris Capuano will start for the Yankees for the first time in Saturday’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Blue Jays. The Yankees will be looking to win their 18th consecutive win over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.