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Division rivals the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees squared off last week, resulting in the Yanks taking the series 2-1. Game 3 however, turned out to be a statement game as the Blue Jays stormed back to pull off an unlikely win, 10-9. With no team in baseball hotter than the Yankees at the moment, the win will be a huge morale boost coming into the business end of the season.
The Blue Jays were down five runs in the sixth innings after Yusei Kikuchi began the game with an uninspiring performance on the mound. All signs pointed towards a sweep in the series and the Yankees 50th win of the season until the BLue Jays batting came to life.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ignited the Rogers Centre crowd by launching the fifth grand slam of his career to bring the Blue Jays within just one. Carlos Delgado and Gurriel Jr are now the only two Toronto batters to hit five grand slams over a two-season span, no easy feat. After the big hit, Teoscar Hernández brought in the go-ahead run to take a small but resilient lead at 10-9. The Blue Jays held off the Yankees to post arguably the team’s biggest win of the season.
It should be noted that the win required a five-out save from closer Jordan Romano, which is no easy feat. Romano had to go through the very heart of the Yankees batting line up to secure the win. On offense, every single one of Toronto’s runs came courtesy of home runs from Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernández. The rest of the lineup wasn’t at its best, a problem which may rear its head later in the season.
The series began with two uncompetitive games, with the Yankees winning easily 12-3 and then 4-0. While it’s clear that the Blue Jays have a long way to go before they become an actual threat to the Yankees, Sunday’s win will go a long way in boosting the team’s confidence. The Yankees still however have an 11 game lead on the Blue Jays in their division.
The next time these two teams meet will be in mid-August. The question now becomes, will the Blue Jays’ team make changes or will we see the two saem rosters battling it out? Chances are the Jays will have to make some switches in the pitching department if they want to compete with the Yankees.
Next up for the Blue Jays are the Chicago White Sox, a series that the Blue Jays win be heavily favoured in. The White Sox currently hold a record of 31-33 and have been off their game as of late.