Wild Betances Costs Struggling Yankees In 7-6 Loss To Blue Jays

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)Dellin Betances may be an All-Star, but he hasn’t been pitching like one lately.

The Yankees’ setup man forced in the go-ahead run with four walks in the eighth inning Wednesday, as the Toronto Blue Jays, who had blown a five-run lead earlier, beat New York.

Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning off Michael Pineda, who also allowed Kevin Pillar’s leadoff homer in the fourth. Russell Martin tied the score 6-6 with a seventh-inning homer against Chad Green, then walked to drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth.

In his last four outings, Betances has pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs and walking 10 batters. His ERA over that span is 23.63.

Dellin Betances

Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances reacts on the mound during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 5, 2017, at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 29th home run, tying Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees rookie record, and Ji-Man Choi homered in his Yankees debut.

Toronto took two of three from New York, which is 0-6-1 in its last seven series. Leading the AL East by four games on June 13 with a 38-23 record, the Yankees have lost 16 of their last 22.

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Danny Barnes (2-2) threw 1 2/3 innings and Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth to convert his 20th consecutive save chance and 21st overall this season. Brett Gardner singled with two outs, and Osuna struck out Judge.

Betances (3-4) walked his first three batters in the eighth, when he threw nine straight balls, threw a called third strike past Jose Bautista, then walked Martin on a 3-2 pitch. Struggling with his mechanics, Betances has walked 17 of his last 55 batters, including 11 of his last 22.

Adam Warren relieved, threw a called third strike past Smoak, then retired Morales on a flyout.

Catcher Miguel Montero made his Blue Jays debut, two days after he was acquired from the Chicago Cubs, and went 0-for-4 with a walk.

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Pineda was 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA in the first two months of the season but has alternated good and bad performances in his last seven outings. He gave up five runs and nine hits in three-innings plus, raising his ERA to 4.39.

Pitching on his 33rd birthday, Marco Estrada wasted a 5-0 lead and allowed six runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Smoak had an RBI single in the first, then hit a two-run homer in the third. Morales homered three pitches later on a 0-2 count.

Judge began the Yankees’ comeback with a two-run homer in the fourth. The only other rookies to hit 29 homers before the All-Star break were Mark McGwire in 1987 (33) and Jose Abreu in 2014 (29).

Choi hit a two-run homer in the fifth, a drive into the right-field seats that would have traveled 457 feet unimpeded, according to MLB’s Statcast.

Brought up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Choi became the seventh player to start at first base for the Yankees this year and 10th to play the position.

Didi Gregorius chased Estrada with a two-run double that put the Yankees ahead 6-5.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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