Home News Yankees’ surge continues against Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah

Yankees’ surge continues against Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah

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TORONTO — The latest stop on the Yankees’ tour of the gauntlet that is the AL East brought them north of the border to face a pitcher who has mostly dominated them while trying a pitching experiment of their own.

Sure enough, it worked to near perfection.

Alek Manoah did not look like the Alek Manoah of old and the Yankees took advantage, kicking off a four-game series against the Blue Jays with a 7-4 win on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

The Yankees (24-19) also got a strong pitching performance from opener Jimmy Cordero and bulk reliever Jhony Brito, who combined for seven shutout innings before the Blue Jays (24-17) finally got to Brito and Ian Hamilton in the eighth.

Add in a two-home run game from Aaron Judge — including a 462-foot moonshot, a few pitches after Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing a low strike against him — and all in all, it was an encouraging night for the Yankees as they continued a grueling stretch of playing 11 of 14 games against divisional foes.

In the process, they won for the ninth time in their last 13 games.

Aaron Judge’ second homer of the night was a monster 462-foot shot.

Judge’s home runs opened and closed the scoring for the Yankees, who have come alive offensively of late. Monday marked the eighth time in their last nine games that they have scored six runs or more.

The Yankees pushed across five runs off Manoah alone before knocking him out of the game after four-plus innings.

Coming into Monday, Manoah had posted a 1.93 ERA across seven starts and 42 innings against the Yankees while giving up just two home runs and 14 walks.

That included seven shutout, two-hit innings last month at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees matched those two home runs in the first inning, with Judge drilling a solo shot and Willie Calhoun adding a two-run homer for the early 3-0 lead.

Manoah struggled with his command all night, issuing a career-high seven walks.

Jhony Brito #76 of the New York Yankees pitches in the fourth inning
Jhony Brito kept the Blue Jays at bay as a long reliever.
Getty Images

Yankees manager Aaron Boone, right, argues with home plate umpire Clint Vondrak, left, after being ejected
Yankees manager Aaron Boone argues with home plate umpire Clint Vondrak after being ejected.

That came back to hurt again in the fourth inning. After Anthony Volpe led off with a double, Oswaldo Cabrera walked for the second time in as many plate appearances before Kyle Higashioka roped an RBI single to make it 4-0.

Manoah then walked Aaron Hicks to load the bases and one out later, walked Judge to force in another run.

The Yankees later made it 6-0 in the sixth inning when Anthony Rizzo stayed red-hot with an RBI double, extending his on-base streak to 14 games.

Yankees' Aaron Judge, left, rounds the bases after hitting an opposite-field home run as Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah
Yankees’ Aaron Judge rounds the bases after hitting an opposite-field home run off Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah.

Serving as an opener for Brito against the right-handed heavy top of the Blue Jays lineup, Cordero gave the Yankees exactly what they were hoping for, retiring all six batters he faced across two innings.

Brito then came on and cruised through five quick scoreless innings.

That ended with a four-run eighth inning, in part because of a Gleyber Torres error that helped extend the inning and knock Brito out of the game.

Hamilton could not get out of the mess but then Michael King came on and did the job, tossing the final 1 ¹/₃ innings to record the save.

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