TORONTO — Jose Bautista provided the offence with an eighth-inning home run and Blue Jays pitchers stymied the Yankees for the second day in a row as Toronto blanked New York 3-0 Saturday.
For seven innings, the game was a pitching duel between Toronto’s Marcus Stroman and New York’s C.C. Sabathia before a Rogers Centre sellout of 47,828 with the roof open on a pleasant 17 C day.
Yankees third baseman Ronald Torreyes slammed a two-out triple to right field in the eighth but reliever Jason Grilli (7-5) snuffed out the threat, striking out pinch-hitter Billy Butler with a 94 mile-per-hour fastball after a seven-pitch at bat that had the crowd on its feet chanting “Let’s Go Blue Jays.”
Josh Donaldson ripped a two-out single to left field off Tyler Clippard (3-5) in the eighth and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Edwin Encarnacion walked, Bautista drove a ball over the left-field fence for his 20th homer of the season.
Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 35th save of the season. Toronto outhit New York 6-3.
It was the fourth win in five games for Toronto (85-69), improving the Jays’ September record to 9-12.
The Yankees (79-75) were shut out for the third game in row — which last happened in 1975 — in dropping their 10th game in their last 13. New York has been blanked in five of 12 road games this month.
The Yankee have now lost seven straight in the Rogers Centre.
Kansas City did Toronto a favour earlier Saturday in the wild-card race, rallying for five runs in the ninth to defeat Detroit 7-4. Baltimore, another wild card contender, played Arizona in an evening start.
Boston, which held a 5.5-game lead over Toronto in the AL East going into Saturday’s schedule, also played later at Tampa.
Helped by two double plays and a runner caught stealing by Toronto catcher Dioner Navarro, Stroman faced just one over the minimum 21 batters in seven innings work. The Yankees managed just three baserunners during that stretch: on three walks and a single.
Stroman, who gave way to Grilli, limited the Yankees to one hit with three walks and five strikouts in a smooth 97-pitch performance featuring 59 strikes.
Sabathia also had some help. The Jays hit into double plays in both the first and second innings.
The veteran left-hander limited Toronto hitters to four hits over seven innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
Bautista’s second-inning double extended his season-high on-base streak to 31 games. Encarnacion’s fourth-inning single was his 153rd hit of the season, a career high. He has already set career highs this season for RBIs and runs scored.
Both are in the last year of their contracts.
Saturday’s starters came in looking for a change in fortunes.
Stroman had lost his last four starts despite allowing three earned runs or fewer in each. A 25-year-old native of Medford, N.Y., Stroman was 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA in his seven previous career starts against the Yankees.
Sabathia, who took the mound mired in a five-game winless streak, used to have the Blue Jays’ number. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he beat Toronto in 11 straight seasons from 2004-14, the longest such streak against the Jays. But the 36-year-old came into Saturday’s game having lost his last five starts against Toronto.
He had a 15-9 career mark with a 3.45 ERA against Toronto.