Heading into tonight’s game, the Blue Jays were looking to sweep the Yankees after winning the first two games. A combination of strong pitching and home runs helped the Blue Jays to a victory on Sunday.
Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista launched solo home runs, which were the only runs necessary, as the Jays took a 2-0 win to complete the sweep and close the gap in the AL East race. Marco Estrada worked 6 1/3 innings, giving up only three hits, walking two, and striking out six to help the Jays gain ground. A week ago, New York was up by six games in the AL East and now they find themselves struggling to stay on top of the division. It has been the first time since May 2003, that Toronto has been able to sweep New York in at least 3 games. This has truly been a huge step in the right direction for the Blue Birds.
“Everything seems more in reach,” Bautista said in a post-game interview. “It seems more attainable.” In a series that saw the two most offensive teams in the majors, the Yankees were only able to get one run before going scoreless over the final 26 innings. “We definitely took a punch this weekend, and good teams punch back” said Alex Rodriguez. “For us, it’s all about how we respond that matters.”
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees will fare against the Jays in just a few days from now, when they see each other at the Rogers Centre in a series that begins Friday night. Prior to that, the Blue Jays will host the Athletics and will see former Blue Jays Brett Lawrie and Danny Valencia. Valencia was just recently claimed off waivers by the Athletics.
Both the Yankees and the Jays are going to fight hard and it will go down to the wire to see who will claim the top prize and win the AL East. Ultimately, the Jays could end up at the top depending on how other teams stack up. One thing is for sure: you can bet there will be a lot of scoreboard watching starting now. Usually you won’t see teams starting to do that until mid-September, but it’s beginning to be such a close race, and it’s pretty well necessary.
“This isn’t going to be comfortable the rest of the way” said Mark Teixeira. “We have to fight for every win and that’s what we expect every single game going forward.” There are only five words that will be said between the two ball clubs when they see each other ten more times before the postseason approaches. Those words? Let’s get ready to rumble! It truly will be a fight to the end!