Gerrit Cole couldn’t stop the Yankees’ slide. The staff ace took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and like everything else around this team right now, it just unraveled. The Bombers’ lifeless offense could not get them back into it as the Blue Jays beat them 5-2 to clinch the series at the Stadium this weekend.
It was the third straight loss for the Yankees (73-48) and their 14th loss in their last 17 games. The Blue Jays (65-54) clinched the four-game series, handing the Bombers their sixth series loss in a row. The Yankees lost three series total in the first half. The Blue Jays cut the Yankees’ lead in the American League East to seven games. The Bombers led by 15.5 games on July 8.
Cole allowed four runs on five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five. Cole went heavy with his fastball and his slider again, getting a combined 12 swings and misses with those two pitches.
Four runs seems like an insurmountable challenge to the Yankees offense right now. On this home stand they are 5-for-36 with runners in scoring position.
The Bombers are hitting .214/.291/.357 with a .648 OPS in the month of August. Before that, the Yankees were hitting .245/.331/.444 with a .775 OPS. Over the last 15 days, their OPS of .582 is the lowest in the majors.
Estevan Florial, who was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Josh Donaldson was scratched with a stomach bug, drove in the Yankees’ first run. Jose Trevino doubled with one out in the second and scored on Florial’s ground ball through the left side. Gleyber Torres hit his 18th homer of the season in the eighth. Torres is 7-for-24 on this home stand.
It was not enough to overcome the Blue Jays’ fifth inning.
Cole struck out Matt Chapman to start the inning, but Santiago Espinal doubled for the first hit off the Yankees’ ace. It unraveled from there. He walked catcher Danny Jansen and then gave up a hard-hit double to Jackie Bradley Jr. off the left field wall to drive in two runs. Raimel Tapia beat out a ground ball to shortstop and Cole slipped coming off the mound to get Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s dribbler, allowing the Blue Jays’ first baseman to reach — after a video review. That set up his six-pitch battle with Alejandro Kirk.
The right-hander tried to go to his reliable high fastball and put one 100 mph an hour at Kirk’s chest. The Blue Jays catcher hammered it for a two-run double off the left-center field wall.
Cole’s last win was July 17 and since then he has allowed 19 earned runs over 37 innings pitched (4.35 ERA) with seven walks and 41 strikeouts.
Chapman homered off Albert Abreu for the Blue Jays’ tack-on run in the ninth inning.