Frustrated Cole, Boone retreat, hesitant Yankees fall to Jays
NEW YORK — The offensively challenged New York Yankees made a lot of noise on Saturday.
Just not with their bats.
Ace Gerrit Cole twice hit the roof of the arc, yelling in frustration and getting booed after a rough inning. After the 15th loss in 19 games, 5-2 at Toronto, manager Aaron Boone hit the podium with his right hand as he talked about his team’s struggles.
“We can ask all these questions about (our slump) until we’re blue in the face,” Boone said. “We have to go out and do it. I need to stop answering questions about this date and this confusion. We have to play better and period. And the great is right in front of us. It’s right here and we can fix it.”
“It’s out there and we can run away with this thing and we’ve got the dudes over there to do it and we’ve got to do it,” he said.
The AL East-leading Yankees fell to 9-20 since entering the All-Star break with a 64-28 record. After snapping a 15 1/2-game streak on July 8, their lead over second-place Toronto dropped to seven games.
The Yankees have lost six straight for the first time since 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Held to just 21 runs in its last 11 games, New York will look to snap a four-game winning streak on Sunday.
Cole (9-6) was hitless before the Blue Jays scored four times in the fifth. After issuing a walk to Danny Jansen and a groundout misplay, Alejandro Kirk capped the outburst with a two-run double that left fielder Andrew Benintendi failed to catch.
When the inning ended, fans booed Cole and television cameras caught the right-hander yelling and hitting the lower part of the roof with both hands.
Cole blamed himself for the walk and the missed field goal.
“I feel bad about it if we weren’t in the rut we were in, but I would still feel bad about it,” he said.
The reaction from parts of the crowd of 45,538 was similar to Cole’s, with boos increasing as Toronto went ahead and getting louder after the final out.
“We’re not winning,” said shortstop Aaron Judge, who hit third for the fourth time this year. “I think any time you don’t win, the boos are justified.”
Jackie Bradley hit a two-run double down the left field line, the ball bounced off the wall and past Benintendi as he attempted a carom throw. Bradley homered after Santiago Espinal got Toronto’s first hit, a two-pitch double after missing on a close two-strikeout.
Raimel Tapia reached on an infield hit, beating shortstop Isaiah Kiner-Falefa’s throw and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached when Cole slipped slightly in front of the mound, delivering the ball. Cole’s misstep allowed Guerrero to beat the throw and the initial charge was reversed when Toronto challenged.
“Obviously I think I’m trying to think a double play,” Cole said. “I’m not 100% sure, but I should try to at least look at it. “
Kirk then gave the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead when he doubled to left-center. Benintendi played slightly inside, ran back, tried to catch him and the ball slipped on his glove before center fielder Estevan Florial threw it and threw out Guerrero to prevent a third run from scoring.
Matt Chapman added a solo homer in the ninth as the Blue Jays won their fourth straight. Toronto is 13-6 in the Bronx since the start of last season.
“He was pitching, no-hit until four, and then I think we cleaned him up well enough to get his pitch count up and kind of string it together,” Toronto interim manager John Schneider said.
Florial hit an RBI single in the second and Gleyber Torres homered in the eighth as the Yankees got nine hits but went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
“We just need to have a little better energy in the room to push each other a little bit,” Judge said.
Before allowing four runs, Cole allowed two runners on base through the first four and was aided by the defensive plays of Judge in right and rookie third baseman Osvaldo Cabrera.
Judge made a catch to prevent Beau Bichette’s double in the second, his left shoulder hitting the fence. Cabrera dove face first into the mat in foul territory to catch Bradley’s popup and ended the play after his head hit the pad along the sidewall.
Toronto starter Mitch White allowed one run and seven hits over four innings. Adam Cimber (9-4) got the win and Yimi García picked up his first save.
Blue Jays: OF/DH George Springer didn’t play for the second straight game after fouling off a ball off his knee while going 5-for-5 on Thursday. Springer was available as a forward and hopes to play on Sunday. … RF Teoscar Hernández was ejected after fouling a ball off his leg in the eighth.
Yankees OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (left Achilles tendinitis) was expected to get three to five at-bats in two rehab games for Double-A Somerset on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Stanton could return as DH as soon as Tuesday after facing RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) in live batting practice. … 3B Josh Donaldson (stomach bug) was a late scratch from the lineup. … RHP Clay Holmes (back) wrestled for the first time since going to IL on Wednesday and said he felt better. … Severino threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session after throwing 30 on Thursday.
Toronto RHP Alec Manoa (12-6, 2.71 ERA) faces New York LHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.74) on Sunday. It will be a special day at Yankee Stadium when former star pitcher and current team spokesman Paul O’Neill retires his No. 21 during an on-field ceremony.