Kevin Pillar lifts Blue Jays in 4-1 win over Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar hits an RBI single against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning of MLB baseball action in Toronto on Tuesday May 31, 2016. (Mark Blinch / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, May 31, 2016 11:06PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 1, 2016 12:09PM EDT
TORONTO - Kevin Pillar followed up a spectacular catch in the outfield with a tie-breaking single to lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the New York Yankees 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Justin Smoak had a home run in the fourth inning for the Blue Jays (28-26), who have back-to-back wins and have been victorious in six of their last seven.
J.A. Happ (6-2) earned a no-decision after giving up a run on four hits over six innings with four strikeouts. Joe Biagini and Jesse Chavez pitched a scoreless inning each before closer Roberto Osuna came on to earn his 12th save of the season.
Biagini (3-1) earned the win as the pitcher of record when Pillar hit his RBI single.
C.C. Sabathia (3-4) sustained the loss after giving up two runs on four hits and five strikeouts over six innings for New York (24-27). Dellin Betances and Kirby Yates came out of the bullpen for the Yankees.
Aaron Hicks got New York on the board in the second inning, grounding into a fielder's choice that brought home Chase Headley.
Pillar brought the 33,419 in attendance to their feet with a highlight-reel diving catch in centre field on catcher Austine Romine's hit to end the fourth inning. The standing ovation continued as Pillar trotted off the field and into the Toronto dugout.
Smoak tied it in the fourth inning with a solo shot to left-centre field, his fifth home run of the season. Yankees centre-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury bounced off the outfield wall as he tried to get a glove on the ball before it went over the fence.
Pillar again brought the crowd at Rogers Centre to its feet, driving Edwin Encarnacion in from second with a two-out single off Betances in the seventh inning for the Blue Jays first lead of the game.
Darwin Barney tacked two more runs on to that, scoring Devon Travis and Pillar with another single to right field to make it 4-1. Barney got caught in a rundown between first and second to end the seventh.
Pillar's fielding helped out Toronto again in the ninth, catching pinch hitter Brian McCann's long fly ball in right-centre field for Osuna's second out of the inning. Pillar followed that up with an easier pop fly in left-centre field on Didi Gregorius to end the game.
Notes: Former closer Jason Grilli and cash considerations were acquired by Toronto in a trade with the Atlanta Braves earlier Tuesday. In return, Atlanta obtained right-hander Sean Ratclilffe, from Ajax, Ont., an 18th-round pick in 2013 who was 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 22 games with Class-A Vancouver last year.