Yankees survive late scare to squeak past Blue Jays

Nothing has come easily for the Yankees this season — and that didn’t change Thursday night.

But this time, they got a sterling performance from their bullpen — and just enough offense — to hold off the Blue Jays, 4-3, in The Bronx.

David Robertson made it interesting when he loaded the bases with no one out in the eighth and the Yankees holding a two-run lead.

After a visit by pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Robertson whiffed Kevin Pillar, but pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson dunked a single into left-center to get the Blue Jays to within a run.

Robertson recovered to get Randal Grichuk swinging for the second out and Luke Maile flied to left to end the threat.

Aroldis Chapman closed it out by striking out the side in the ninth for his third save of the season, as the Yankees’ bullpen — which entered the game with a 4.48 ERA — surrendered just one run over 4²/₃ innings in relief of CC Sabathia.

Sabathia, in his first start since being shelved with a right hip strain, surrendered just two unearned runs before being pulled after 71 pitches for Chad Green.

Green retired all five batters he faced before giving way to Dellin Betances, who was effective for a second straight appearance, throwing a scoreless seventh.

The Yankees scored twice in the second and added a run in the fifth before Aaron Judge homered in the seventh for a much-needed insurance run.

Sabathia, in his third start of the season, pitched around a leadoff walk to Yangervis Solarte in the second, thanks in part to a diving play by Ronald Torreyes at third.

The Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the inning with the help of some unlikely sources. With Aaron Hicks on first and one out, Neil Walker snapped an 0-for-16 streak with a double off the wall in right, sending Hicks to third.

Tyler Wade, getting a rare start at second, drove in Hicks with a chopper to second and Torreyes continued his hot hitting with an RBI single just over Aledmys Diaz at short for a 2-0 lead.

Sabathia responded by giving up consecutive singles to Maile and Devon Travis at the bottom of the order to start the third. Both runners advanced on Steve Pearce’s slow grounder to third. Teoscar Hernandez followed with another grounder to third, but with Justin Smoak at the plate, Gary Sanchez seemed to be crossed up on a pitch and it went for a passed ball for Toronto’s first run.

Sabathia prevented further damage by getting Smoak — who went 7-for-15 with four extra-base hits against the Yankees in the opening series between the teams — to pop out.

A throwing error by Torreyes and a hit by pitch got Sabathia into a jam in the fourth. The lefty retired the next two batters, but Maile singled up the middle to tie the game at 2-2, with both of Toronto’s runs unearned.

Sanchez, who didn’t commit a passed ball in his first 10 games behind the plate this season, has had three in the last two games — including one in the fifth before Sabathia departed with a runner on second and one out.

Green entered and got Smoak and Solarte to keep the game tied.

Didi Gregorius’ two-out single with runners on the corners scored Torreyes to put the Yankees up by a run again in the fifth.

Judge continued his terrific start with his shot off Clippard as he Yankees hung on to win for the third time in four games.

Source: Read Full Article