TORONTO -- In front of a raucous crowd of 47,648 at Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays took further control of the American League East behind another fabulous start from ace David Price, beating the New York Yankees 4-2 on Monday night. The Yankees now trail Toronto by 3.5 games with 13 games remaining.
Toronto can take control of the division, perhaps for good, by winning the next two games. Even if the Jays were to split the next two, they would be well positioned to win the crown.
Too little, too late: After Price left, the Yankees quickly got to the Jays' bullpen, putting up a run in the eighth off Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez walked Didi Gregorius to lead off the inning and allowed a single by Dustin Ackley. That brought in lefty Brett Cecil, who allowed an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury to bring the Yankees to within three with no outs and two men on.
Price is right: Alex Anthopolous, the Jays' aggressive GM, made the trade for Price for nights like Monday. Price was masterful, going seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and pitching like a potential Cy Young winner. He struck out seven and walked one. After his defense let him down in the third, he got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam.
He is 17-5 with a 2.34 ERA on the season.
Lot of pitches, short night: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in his ideal world he would let starter Adam Warren throw 85 pitches and go six innings. On Monday, Warren threw 81 pitches and was gone after 3⅓.
The Jays did all their damage in the first, when they scored three runs on three hits along with a hit batter and a walk. Warren put up zeroes from there, but he didn't give the Yankees what they needed.
Parade of pitchers: Giardi used six pitchers on the night. James Pazos, Caleb Cotham, Chasen Shreve, Branden Pinder and Andrew Bailey gave up only a run over 4⅔ innings. Shreve didn't give up a run, but he again struggled, allowing a hit and two walks.
A-Rod's first opportunity: Rodriguez had a chance do something big, then almost got lucky, but ended up not coming through in the third. The Yankees were down three runs, but loaded the bases on an error by Jays second baseman Cliff Pennington, an Ellsbury single and a Gardner walk.
With a 3-2 count, Rodriguez blooped a ball that just missed the chalk in shallow right field. It might have scored three runs. Instead, it was just foul. On the next pitch, Rodriguez struck out.
The inning ended when McCann flew out hard to center.