Despite plating five runs, the Yankees couldn't hold off the Blue Jays' hitting in an 8-5 loss in the Bronx Friday night. << Box score
The Yankees were looking to put together a win streak after Thursday night's 4-3 victory that saw stellar pitching from both CC Sabathia and the bullpen.
But pitching was less than lights out for the home team in this one.
New York got off to a quick, 2-0 lead after Tyler Austin launched a two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the second. But Yankees starter Sonny Gray gave it right back in the next frame, with Teoscar Hernandez turning on an inside fastball to left-center field for a two-run homer of his own.
Giancarlo Stanton would give the Yankees the lead back with a line shot over the right-field wall to make it 4-2. But the Blue Jays would answer yet again, this time securing their first lead of the night in the top of the fourth.
Kendrys Morales hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line to score former Yankees C Russell Martin to make it a one-run game. Then, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. lined a two-run single back up the middle to score Morales and Kevin Pillar, who hit a single as well. The two-RBI single was Gurriel's first major league hit.
Though Miguel Andujar hit a two-run homer to tie the ballgame at five in the bottom of the fourth, the Jays couldn't be stopped. Gurriel added another hit to his career total with an RBI single with the bases loaded in the fifth. Then, Domingo German, who took the loss, walked home a run to make the score 7-5 in the top of the fifth.
In the sixth, another former Yankee in Yangervis Solarte hit a solo shot to right-center field to give the Jays' a definitive 8-5 lead that the Yankees wouldn't extinguish.
Though Gray earned a no-decision, he allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in 3.1 innings as his struggles on the bump continue.
Five runs should be enough, but the Yankees' pitching staff has simply been way too inconsistent. Tonight it was Gray's turn. Again.
Gray was apparently working hard this week on his approach (less thinking, more throwing) with Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, but to no avail. Gray continues to nibble around the plate and when his stuff is not up to par (like tonight), he cannot get swings and misses. He didn't generate any until his final inning of work when he managed two.
The Yankees have to get Gray right if they're to actually compete this season. Gray demonstrated that he could win games (or at least pitch well enough to earn wins) with New York last season after coming over from Oakland. Gray has the ability to throw quality pitches, but he seems to lack the confidence required to go out and throttle opponents. I'm just not certain that's a mentality that can be taught or if Gray even wants to learn it.
What's Next: The Yankees look to get revenge against the Blue Jays on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.