Bautista, Blue Jays edge playoff-bound Yankees 2-1 in finale

NEW YORK — Jose Bautista singled off the wall and hit a sacrifice fly in what was probably his final game with Toronto, and the Blue Jays edged the playoff-bound New York Yankees 2-1 in their regular-season finale Sunday.

Matt Holliday homered for the Yankees in a tuneup for the AL wild-card game Tuesday night at home against Minnesota. The winner faces AL Central champion Cleveland in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Thursday.

New York swept a three-game series at home against the Twins from Sept. 18-20 and won the season series 4-2.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi rested several regulars, including slugger Aaron Judge, and removed a handful of others early in the game. The Yankees finished 91-71, a seven-game improvement over last year and their best record since going 95-67 in 2012, the last time they won the AL East.

Toronto snapped a three-game slide and ended its disappointing season 76-86 after finishing 89-73 a year ago. Coming off consecutive trips to the AL Championship Series, where they lost both times, the Blue Jays never recovered from a 10-20 start.

After starter Brett Anderson threw five shutout innings, Danny Barnes (3-6) won in relief despite giving up Holliday’s 19th home run. Roberto Osuna pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 39th save, ending a game that took a swift 2 hours, 28 minutes.

Toronto scratched across the tiebreaking run against Domingo German (0-1) in the eighth on Ryan Goins’ RBI dribbler in front of home plate.

Bautista went 1 for 1 with an RBI in two plate appearances. The slugger, who turns 37 this month, entered hitting .201 and Toronto appears unlikely to exercise its half of a $17 million mutual option this off-season.

Yankees rookie starter Jordan Montgomery allowed one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings.

SAFE AT HOME

Eleven days after a young girl was injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, New York said it plans to expand protective netting at its home ballpark and spring training complex next year. The team announced the decision during Sunday’s game. Since the girl was injured Sept. 20 by a drive off the bat of Todd Frazier, several teams have announced they plan to add more netting to better protect fans.

ALL RISE

Before the game, Judge was presented with a Waterford Crystal “gavel” for setting the franchise record for home runs by a rookie. Judge broke Joe DiMaggio’s mark when he connected on his 30th of the season July 7. Judge was rested against Toronto and finished his outstanding season with 52 home runs, a major league record for rookies.

CROWDS

Yankees home attendance rose to 3,146,966 for 79 dates from 3,063,405 for 81 dates last year. Average home attendance rebounded to 39,835 after falling from 41,995 in 2014, Derek Jeter’s final season, to 37,820 in 2016.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson and C Russell Martin sat out the season finale.

Yankees: RHP Adam Warren worked a hitless inning in his first outing since coming off the disabled list Friday. The reliever had been sidelined since Sept. 3 because of a lower back spasm.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: The team opens its 2018 season at home on March 29 against the Yankees.

Yankees: Following a workout Monday at Yankee Stadium, RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) starts the wild-card game Tuesday night against Minnesota RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28).

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