Jeter can’t come through, Yankees lose 4-3 to Jays
TORONTO (AP) — Derek Jeter’s final regular-season at-bat in Canada didn’t go the way he or the New York Yankees wanted.
Jose Bautista homered for the fifth straight game and the Toronto Blue Jays erased a three-run deficit to beat the Yankees 4-3 on Sunday.
Jeter had a chance to tie it in the ninth inning. With a runner on third and the sellout crowd of 45,678 on its feet, he popped up against closer Casey Janssen for the last out.
“I don’t think I have had much success against (Janssen),” Jeter said. “He was better than me this time.”
Brett Gardner finished a single shy of the cycle, but couldn’t deliver on his own opportunity in the ninth, grounding out with a runner on second to bring up Jeter.
J.A. Happ won for the first time in seven starts and Munenori Kawasaki singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh to help the Blue Jays take two of three in a series between AL East teams trying to stay close in the playoff chase.
New York’s loss was its fourth in six games following a five-game winning streak.
“It’s tough. We only have so many series left,” Jeter said.
Held out of the lineup for the second straight game with a sore left ankle, Jacoby Ellsbury came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and doubled before being replaced by pinch-runner Ichiro Suzuki.
After retiring Gardner, Janssen forced himself to refocus before facing Jeter.
“I could see the little fairy tale story being written, but got that out of my head real quick and knew I had to attack him,” Janssen said.
Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera also went deep for the Blue Jays, who had their most homers since hitting four in Houston on July 31.
Gardner gave the Yankees a quick lead when he connected on Happ’s second pitch for his sixth career leadoff homer and fifth this year.
Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI single in the fourth and the Yankees made it 3-0 in the fifth when Gardner tripled and scored on an errant relay throw by shortstop Jose Reyes.
New York right-hander Brandon McCarthy allowed just two singles and a walk through the first five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Cabrera ended a streak of nine straight outs with a homer to right and, four pitches later, Bautista also went deep.
“Everything happened so fast,” Cervelli said.
Encarnacion tied it at 3 with a leadoff drive in the seventh, and McCarthy left after walking Dioner Navarro. Dellin Betances got two outs before pinch-runner Steve Tolleson stole second and scored on Kawasaki’s single, sliding in under Cervelli’s tag.
McCarthy was upset his 2-2 pitch to Encarnacion was called ball three, and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena was later ejected by plate umpire Chad Fairchild.
“I don’t even think that’s a borderline strike. That’s just a strike,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy (5-4) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, losing for the fourth time in five starts.
Happ (9-8) gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings to win for the first time since July 22 against Boston.
“His breaking ball today was as good as we’ve seen it,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Brett Cecil worked the eighth and Janssen finished for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Starting as the designated hitter, Jeter went 1 for 5 with a single in the first.
A GIFT FOR 2
Before the game, the Blue Jays honored Jeter with a video tribute and a $10,000 donation to his Turn 2 charity. Bautista and Mark Buehrle joined Jeter on the field to present him with a gift, a three-night luxury trip to Banff, Alberta, complete with a helicopter tour of the Rocky Mountains as well as Jeter’s choice of golf or ski lessons. “I will definitely use that one,” Jeter said.
Pressed again on Masahiro Tanaka’s return to New York for further treatment on his sore right arm, Yankees manager Joe Girardi cited the superiority of the facilities at Yankee Stadium compared to those at 25-year-old Rogers Centre. “Has anyone seen the weight room?” Girardi asked a crowd of media in the visitor’s dugout before the game. “It’s about as big as this area we’re in right now, this little room.”
Ellsbury, who took batting practice and ran the bases before the game, was scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday night once the Yankees returned to New York. His status for Tuesday’s game against Boston is unclear.
New York is off Monday before opening a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday night. RHP Shane Greene (4-1) will pitch for the Yankees, marking their 54th start from a rookie this season. The Red Sox have not announced a starter.