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24 September 2017, 12:11 | Susie Olson
The Yankees' only losing record to an AL East team is the worst one.
For the second time this season, the player known more for his staunch defence than his risky bat cracked a grand slam that helped the Blue Jays to a convincing 8-1 victory over the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on Friday night. The Blue Jays can't do the full-blown send-off since, technically, they have yet to exercise the opt-out.
"This team has played us tough all year, so we have to go out and play well, " Joe Girardi said of the Blue Jays before his club, which had won 10 of its past 12 games, failed to do that. Entering Friday, the Yankees needed a combination of a victory and a loss by both the Angels and Rangers to clinch a wild card berth. "We're here toward the end of the season and I understand how important these games are". Aaron Judge was 2-for-2 with a home run and two walks to pace the Yankees. The homer was his third of the season with a runner on base.
With the Yankees trailing 4-1, Tanaka walked Jose Bautista to start the sixth and gave up a single to Kevin Pillar.
In Milwaukee, pinch hitter Tommy La Stella drew a bases-loaded walk off All-Star closer Corey Knebel with one out in the 10th.
Even the TV announcers weren't sure why Frazier was called out once the ball was thrown into Ryan Goins covering the bag.
In Houston, Justin Verlander pitched one-hit ball over seven innings to remain ideal with the Astros and Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run homer against Los Angeles.
Entering the Friday night start, Tanaka had been 4-1 in five starts since going on the 10-day disabled list due to arm fatigue.
Frazier belted a double to lead off the frame. After pretending to toss the ball back to Estrada, Goins slipped it into his glove, waited for Frazier to step off the base, then quickly tagged him on the left thigh.
Two-out walks to Frazier and Clint Frazier in the fifth amounted to nothing when Ellsbury flied to left and stranded two. Russell Martin lined a two-run homer just over the left field wall handing Tanaka his second homer allowed of the night. But similar to the deadline acquisition Sonny Gray, Tanaka has displayed an alarming propensity for giving up home runs, and that is a unsafe thing to flirt with come playoff time. Hernandez went to third and scored easily on a ground out by Bautista.
While pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was speaking to reporters following New York's 8-1 loss to Toronto, several clubhouse attendants, a Yankees security staffer and players Todd Frazier and Tyler Wade chased the fan out the rear doors of the clubhouse.
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