TORONTO (CBSNewYork/AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Yankees 5-4 Saturday, handing New York its second straight loss following a season-high nine game winning streak.
The Yankees lost for the first time in 12 games this season when using an opener, with starter Chad Green pitching a scoreless inning. Six Yankees pitchers combined to walk eight and strike out 14.
The Blue Jays trailed 4-3 in the seventh when Bo Bichette drew a one-out walk from Adam Ottavino, Cavan Biggio singled and Guerrero Jr. grounded the ball down the first base line and into foul territory. Right fielder Aaron Judge initially mishandled the ball against a side wall, and Guerrero slid in safely for the first triple of his career.
The Yankees had gone ahead on DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly in the top of the inning, but Ottavino (5-4) couldn’t make it stand up. The right-hander allowed a run for the first time in 16 appearances, a streak that dated to July 2 against the Mets.
It hasn’t been nearly as good of a season for Ottavino as his sparkling 1.73 ERA makes it appear. His walk to Bichette gave him 32 for the season in just 52 innings — that’s an average of nearly six walks per game. The seventh inning meltdown was his fifth blown save of 2019.
Gary Sanchez returned from injured list and hit a solo home run for the Yankees and Gio Urshela added a two-run drive.
The Yankees have hit multiple home runs in nine straight games, extending their season-best streak. New York lost for the ninth time in 61 games with multiple home runs.
Sanchez started in the cleanup spot after missing 16 games because of a strained left groin. He struck out swinging on three pitches against right-hander Wilmer Font in his first at-bat, then provided the first hit of the game with a one-out homer off righty Jacob Waguespack in the fourth. It was Sanchez’s 25th home run of the season and his first since July 4.
INF Gleyber Torres (core injury) hit on the field and took grounders before the game, then flashed a thumbs-up to manager Aaron Boone as he walked off the field. Torres has missed four straight.
The Yankees recalled LHP Stephen Tarpley from Triple-A to replace Holder. Tarpley walked four in 2 1/3 innings.
RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder) threw 48 pitches over three shutout innings at Triple-A Friday. “That’s really encouraging,” Boone said. “He could potentially become an option for us some point this coming week.”
To make room for Sanchez, the Yankees optioned C Kyle Higashioka to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Higashioka made a big impression in his latest call-up to the majors, including notching his first multi-home run game in a win over the Orioles.
The Yankees will again be looking for their subpar rotation to step up and provide quality innings Sunday. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-6, 4.93) has an 8.71 ERA over six starts in July and August in what’s becoming his worst season with the Yankees.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)