An eighth inning home run from Bo Bichette was the difference on Wednesday night, as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 6-5, keeping them in the hunt for an American League wild card spot.
Marcus Semien’s first inning home run got the Blue Jays off to a good start in front of their home crowd, driving in George Springer, who began the inning with a leadoff double. It was his 44th home run of the season, setting the MLB record for most in a single season by a second baseman.
Springer turned provider in the second inning, hitting a single to left field, and allowing Santiago Espinal to score. Bo Bichette followed that up with a solo home run in the bottom of the third, his first of two on the night, as the Jays quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
After being held scoreless through the first four innings, the Yankees scored a pair of runs against Jays starter José Berríos in the fifth. A single into centre field from Gio Urshela allowed Gleyber Torres to score, before a double from Brett Gardner drove home Urshela.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continued his MVP-calibre season on Wednesday, and restored the three-run lead for the home team in the bottom half of the inning, hitting a double to score Springer and make it 5-2.
The visitors clawed it back to a tie game, scoring in the sixth and seventh innings to tie it up at five runs apiece. A sacrifice fly from Aaron Judge sent DJ LeMahieu across the plate in the sixth, before a two-run double by Kyle Higashioka in the top of the seventh made it a tied ball game.
Needing a hero, Bo Bichette stepped up to the plate for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the eighth inning, and provided a moment of magic that could prove to be crucial in the Jays’ push for the postseason.
Bichette launched a pitch from Yankees reliever Clay Holmes over the wall in right-centre field, his second of the game and 28th of the season. It would end up being the winning run, as the Jays got back in the win column with a 6-5 victory.
The RBIs from Bichette and Semien moved them both up to 101 on the season – giving the Blue Jays four players to hit the 100 RBI milestone in a single season for the first time in franchise history (Hernandez 112, Guerrero Jr 106, Semien 101, Bichette 101).
The Jays remain one game back of the Boston Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The Seattle Mariners are half a game up on the Jays, while the Yankees remain a game up on the Red Sox for the first Wild Card spot.
The Blue Jays improve their record to 88-70, and have four games left this season to try and climb up the standings. They play the Yankees again on Thursday night, before a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend to close out the 2021 regular season.