Sweep: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 4

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After sweeping a three-game series for the first time in 2014 last week against Seattle in Safeco Field, the Yankees pulled off the same feat at home against the Blue Jays. If you have been paying attention the past couple of seasons, you will know that this isn’t much of a shock because the Yankees have now beaten Toronto 16 games in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to 9/19/12 and the Yanks swept a doubleheader that day. Isn’t that something?

Starter David Phelps, who was coming off a strong performance in last Friday’s 7-0 victory over the A’s came up big again going seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits against the Blue Jays. He also set a career high in pitches with 115.

The Yankees took an early 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a double by Brett Gardner who moved to third on an infield hit by Derek Jeter and scored on a Jacoby Ellsbury sac fly.

Former Yankee Melky Cabrera tied the game on a two-run shot in the third but the Yankees scored again in the bottom of the inning thanks to Ellsbury who hit a single, stole second, moved to third on a single and then scored on a sac fly.

Phelps ran into a little trouble in the fifth but escaped without allowing the Jays to score. He ended his outing with a strikeout of Jose Reyes to end the seventh inning.

Shawn Kelley came in to the game in the eighth to relieve Phelps and gave up a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion. I guess he shouldn’t feel too badly because it was EE’s 21st dinger of the season. A lot of pitchers have given up the long ball to Encarnacion but that made Joe Girardi have to use Matt Thornton earlier than planned. Dellin Betances and David Robertson were both unavailable tonight.

In the ninth, Thornton, after getting the first out, gave up a single to Colby Rasmus which prompted Girardi to make another call to the bullpen and bring in Adam Warren. Warren got Munenori Kawasaki to line out to centerfield and induced a groundout from Jose Reyes to end the game.

Some notes:

  • Carlos Beltran hit a double to give the Yanks a 4-2 lead in the fifth. He finished with two RBI.
  • Derek Jeter hit two more singles and finished 2-5.
  • Kelly Johnson bruised some fingers in his sixth inning at bat and left the game with a 3-2 count. Yangervis Solarte came in for him, swung at one pitch, struck out and the strikeout was credited to Johnson. The x-rays on Johnson’s hand were negative.
  • The Yankees scored one run in six different innings.

There was an odd play in the fourth inning which created an uproar in Toronto with fans up there claiming that it happened the way it did because the game was in Yankee Stadium and the umpires favor the Yankees. Blah blah blah. Anyway, Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY explained what happened pretty well so I will defer to him:

On a popup from Dioner Navarro, Encarnacion got in Mark Teixeira‘s way. Teixeira caught the ball anyway. Initially, first base ump Jordan Baker called Encarnacion for interference and ruled it a double play.

After a long argument with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, the umpires eventually decided Encarnacion was out for interference, but since it was not intentional — he was on the basepath — the umps still rewarded Navarro first base. That is the umpires’ right as part of Rule 7.08b. The ruling is based on the ball being dead once there is interference.

Tomorrow, the Orioles come to town for three games. Right now, the Yankees are tied with the Blue Jays in the loss column but Toronto has played three more game than them so they’re still in first by a game and a half.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.