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Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6

6/24/2014

TORONTO -- They don't come much stranger than this one.

Mark Buehrle pitches well enough to beat the Yankees but gets a no-decision. David Phelps pitches horribly enough to lose but gets a no-decision. The Blue Jays blow a six-run lead to the punchless Yankees offense and commit three errors -- and wind up winning on a Yankees error in the bottom of the ninth.

But in the final analysis, a loss is a loss, and this one hurts because it puts the Jays in a position to wipe out the sweep they suffered at the hands of the Yankees last week in the Bronx with a win here on Wednesday. The Yankees, who came to Toronto with a chance to unseat the division-leading Jays, drop to 3 1/2 games back in the AL East.

Oh, no Solo: A bizarre game ended in bizarre fashion when Yangervis Solarte's throwing error on Melky Cabrera's bunt allowed Jose Reyes to score from second with the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth. Reyes atoned for a huge error (see below) by leading off the ninth with a double into the right-field corner, and the combination of a good bunt, Solarte's inexperience, and the pressure of knowing a fast runner was rounding third caused the error, and a deflating 7-6 loss.

Big-time Betances: Dellin Betances worked himself into and out of a big-time jam in the eighth, loading the bases on a single and two walks, but escaped when he got Anthony Gose to ground into a forceout at home (strong throw by Brian Roberts), and then struck out Munenori Kawasaki on a wicked curveball.

No way, Jose: Jose Reyes made two errors, and the second one was especially costly, a needless throwing error that allowed two unearned runs to score in the seventh, completing a wipeout of what had been one-time 6-0 Blue Jays lead.

Resurrection of the Dead Bats?: Not tonight. Buehrle was riding a 10-year streak of futility against the Yankees -- he had not beaten them since April 2004 -- and just about everyone in the lineup had good numbers against him. But Buehrle held the Yankees in check for six innings before faltering in the seventh, and left the game leading 6-3 with a runner on base, meaning he could only win the game, not lose it. No wonder he smiled broadly when John Gibbons came out to collect him with two outs in the seventh. Too bad for him, the Jays bullpen, and Reyes, couldn't hold it for him, and he wound up with a no-decision.

Phelps Phans, Phlops: David Phelps had his K-pitch working Tuesday -- he had seven overall and four in the first two innings -- but his gopher ball was also alive and well. He allowed a long three-run homer in the fourth and just missed giving up a grand slam an inning later, and posted one of his worst lines of the year: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER.

Three for all: Former Yankee farmhand Dioner Navarro -- he had seven plate appearances for them as a rookie in 2004, the same year Buehrle last beat them -- belted a three-run homer to deep right-center on a 1-2 breaking ball from Phelps in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie.

Captain (Double) Clutch: The Blue Jays' three-run fifth was set up when Jeter had a rare brain-lock at shortstop, fielding Edwin Encarnacion's routine grounder, looking for the force at second -- which he passed up because Jose Reyes was running -- then looking to third, where he had no play, and finally throwing to first, too late to get Encarnacion. This play loaded the bases with two outs, and not surprisingly, had dire consequences for the Yankees (see below).

Rasmus haul: Colby Rasmus followed that bizarre play with a laser to right that hit the top of the fence -- narrowly missing a grand slam by about a foot -- and this time, Jeter cut the throw home and tried to outrun Rasmus back to first, which he failed to do. In the meantime, all three runners scored, giving the Jays a 6-0 lead. Rasmus also made two outstanding plays in center field.

Captain Crunch: Jeter atoned for one of those runs almost immediately, leading off the sixth with a solo HR, his second of the season, to left to cut the lead to 6-1.

For Brian out loud: The Yankees' two Brians, McCann and Roberts, teamed up to put two runs on the board in the seventh and make the game close. First McCann doubled to left, and then Roberts hit his third HR of the season, also to left, to make it 6-3.

Tomorrow: Series finale pairs Hiroki Kuroda (4-5, 4.23) and RHP Drew Hutchison (5-5, 3.86), fist pitch at 7:07 p.m.