The Yankees had beaten the Blue Jays 17 straight times at Yankee Stadium. But the streak is now past tense after this 6-4 Toronto win, its first here since Aug. 29, 2012.
“When we have a tough year, usually around this place you’d see tire tracks on your neck,” John Gibbons said.
But the Jays are improved this year and finally weren’t run over in their fifth try here in 2014.
“Sometimes you need a screwup or something to help you win a game in a tough streak, and we got some of that,” Gibbons said.
Yes, they did. In the seventh inning, Brian McCann had a bad moment filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira at first base, failing to get an out on a ball hit to him by Dioner Navarro with runners at second and third and no outs in a 2-2 game. The catcher, making just his seventh start this season at first, looked at Melky Cabrera holding in place down the third-base line, then looked at first too late, then threw to second and couldn’t get Jose Bautista getting back to the bag.
“There are a lot of things he could do, but he’s extremely inexperienced over there,” Joe Girardi said.
“The game sped up on me,” McCann said. “I didn’t make the play. … The more experience I’ll get over there, the better decision making I’ll have.”
One out later, Matt Thornton came on and Dan Johnson hit an infield blooper between first and second. Brian Roberts couldn’t get to it, then couldn’t hold the ball in his glove after a tricky hop. The go-ahead run scored.
“Maybe it’s a play I’m supposed to make,” Roberts said. “I don’t know.”
The Yankees are going to have to remake their middle infield. Derek Jeter will be retiring, of course. Roberts hasn’t been too impressive offensively or defensively. They could use a steadier backup first baseman as well with Teixeira breaking down a lot.
Chris Capuano put a lot of runners on, but the 35-year-old lefty didn’t give up a lot of runs in his Yankees debut, allowing just two in six innings.
“I had a little nerves going in the beginning,” Capuano said. “… But I made some good pitches today when I had to and was just thrilled to be out there.”
Francisco Cervelli went 1 for 2, so he has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 starts, batting .405 in that stretch.
Photo by The Associated Press.