Blue Jays 16 Yankees 7
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays picked up where they left off at the all-star break — on a winning roll.
Edwin Encarnacion and Eric Thames drove in three runs each as the Blue Jays rode an eight-run first inning to a 16-7 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday.
The Blue Jays (46-47) had a season-best 20 hits to go with the season best in runs to earn their fourth win in a row. They entered the break for the all-star game with three wins in a row over the Cleveland Indians.
“The offence deserves the W today”” said winning pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes (5-7) who allowed seven runs and 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings. “They had a good (all-star) break. They came out swinging really good today and took advantage of some mistakes in the first inning. I didn’t think we took our foot off the pedal today at all.”
The Blue Jays lost major-league home run leader Jose Bautista in the fourth inning when he twisted his right ankle after catching a cleat while sliding into third base on a force play on Encarnacion’s double-play grounder.
Bautista, who has 31 home runs, is listed as day to day. He was replaced by John McDonald at third base.
Bartolo Colon (6-5) lasted two-thirds of an inning as the starter for New York (53-36) but five of the eight runs charged to him were unearned. He allowed six hits and two walks.
Andruw Jones hit a pair of homers off Reyes for the Yankees.
The eight runs in the first inning were a season best for the Blue Jays and came with two out.
“It was an outstanding effort by our lineup top to bottom,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. “A number of key two-out hits to extend a couple of innings. I thought we took advantage of some extra base runners early on.”
Only three of the runs were earned because of an error by Yankees third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who is filling in while Alex Rodriguez recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The Yankees had one of their sloppier outings, making three errors overall.
Aaron Hill singled in the first two runs, and Travis Snider followed with an RBI single. After the error, Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar both had dribblers down the third base line go for run-scoring infield singles. Thames scored two more with a ground-rule double, and reliever Luis Ayala balked in the eighth run.
The Blue Jays added a run in the second when Encarnacion’s single scored Adam Lind, who doubled when his shallow fly to left dropped between fielders.
The Yankees cut into the nine-run lead with four in the third, starting with Jones’ fifth homer of the season. Brett Gardner’s infield hit to short, despite a valiant diving effort by Escobar, and a walk to Derek Jeter set up Curtis Granderson’s two-run triple to right that was misplayed by Thames. Mark Teixeira’s ground out scored Granderson.
Jones hit a three-run homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 9-7. It was the 42nd multi-homer game of his career and his second this year, both against Toronto. It followed singles by Nick Swisher and Canadian catcher Russell Martin.
“When he got the ball down in the strike zone he got a lot of ground balls and I thought he was effective,” Farrell said. “I thought he threw a lot of strikes. Even going into the sixth inning he had a game well in hand despite the four runs. He was relatively efficient not a high number of pitches (80 for the game), and yet as quick as they can strike they did. He started to elevate the ball in that inning.”
He got one more out and gave up a single before being lifted for Luis Perez.
The Blue Jays got pair back in the bottom of the inning on Encarnacion’s two-run single against left-hander Boone Logan who replaced Hector Noesi.