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Yankees rally in sixth inning to crush Blue Jays

Juan Soto New York Yankees Juan Soto - The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays had the good vibrations of their mini two-game win streak wiped out by the booming bats of the New York Yankees on Friday.

The Yankees enjoyed a six-run sixth inning and piled on with seven more in the ninth en route to a humiliating 16-5 loss for the Blue Jays before 34,791 at Rogers Centre.

With a seven-game losing streak ending on Tuesday, the Blue Jays (37-44) limp to the halfway mark. Meanwhile, the slumping Yankees (53-21) halted a season-high four-game win streak.

Added to the insult of the blowout defeat was George Springer left the game with a left-hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider was hopeful the red-hot Springer could return on Saturday. Springer has 10 RBIs in his last three games.

Schneider took a little longer than usual for his post-game press conference, but when he emerged 19 minutes after the final pitch he kept a brave face during his version of the proceedings.

“There were probably some spots we could have added on runs, played a little cleaner," Schneider said. "I just hate to waste an outing like that."

Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi (4-8) set down the first 10 Yankees in order. But the Bronx Bombers got to him in the sixth inning with the Blue Jays in front 3-1.

Juan Soto hit a deep, three-run homer to right field, knocking Kikuchi out of the game. He surrendered four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in his five-plus innings.

Nate Pearson was lit up for a two-run homer from Gleybar Torres three batters later. The Yankees departed the inning with a four-run lead and never looked back.

Reliever Tim Mayza endured a difficult outing. He yielded five runs in a seven-run New York ninth.

In the fourth inning, Toronto second baseman Spencer Horwitz messed up a run down on Aaron Judge and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s throw to the first-base side of home plate failed to cut down Soto on the same play for the Yankees first run.

Then Guerrero was nailed at home when a pitch got past Yankees catcher Jose Trevino. But he recovered in time to beat the Blue Jays slugger to the plate.

"(Guerrero's) trying to be aggressive and make something happen," Schneider said. "We beat ourselves in some areas that we’re trying to do a little bit too much."

Former Toronto starter Marcus Stroman was outstanding through four innings. He gave up a first-inning run when Springer singled home Bo Bichette.

The Blue Jays then got to Stroman in the fifth inning for two runs to end his evening. With the bases loaded, Guerrero hit a slow roller to second base that the Yankees failed to turn a double play.

Stroman was visibly upset at his infielders.

"It was frustrating," Stroman said. "I felt like I made a good pitch. That was a big spot. I wanted to have that turned there and we didn’t."

Stroman lasted 4 1/3 innings. He surrendered three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Guerrero Jr. hit a solo shot in the seventh inning off reliever Luke Weaver for his fifth homer in seven games.

Yankees reliever Michael Tonkin (3-3) registered the win.


Kiner-Falefa extended his hit streak to 12 games with his leadoff single to centre in the fifth inning. He added his seventh homer of the season in the sixth inning. It's the longest-hitting streak by a Blue Jay in 2024.


Chris Bassitt (6-6) will start for the Blue Jays in the third game of the four-game series on Saturday. The Yankees will counter with lefty Nestor Cortes (4-6).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.