Jays end six-game slide against New York Yankees
Clayton Richard had a lot more fun on his third start as a Blue Jay’s player than he did in his previous two.
And the final scoreline had everything to do with it.
Richard didn’t factor into the decision on Tuesday. But the Jays offence ignited behind a pair of homers during the fifth inning to beat the New York Yankees 4-3.
“We won,” the veteran left-hander said with a smile when asked what he liked about his outing. “It’s a lot better when we win. It’s a lot more fun. We can listen to music (in the clubhouse afterwards) and have a good time together.”
Meanwhile, Richard allowed two runs and four hits with three walks and four strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. He threw a season-high 87 pitches, and 52 for strikes.
The 35-year-old, acquired by the Blue Jays in the off-season, had missed the first eight weeks of the season with a knee injury.
“I had a week off so plenty of time to recover from the last (start) and get prepared for this one,” Richard said. “Physically I feel great and I’m ready to keep on going.”
Meanwhile, Freddy Galvis hit a two-run homer and Randal Grichuk went deep as part of a four-run fifth inning for Toronto. Meaning that they snapped a six-game slide. Also, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a run-scoring single and Eric Sogard was three-for-four with a double.
Reliever Daniel Hudson earned the win while Ken Giles got a four-out save.
However, Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks homered for New York during the first meeting between the division rivals this season. While Masahiro Tanaka allowed four runs and six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Tanaka had previously allowed just one hit and a single walk before the Blue Jays’ explosive fifth inning.
“I think we stuck to our plan,” Galvis said. “We (saw) good pitches and let him make some mistakes and made him pay. I think when a pitcher like that, a good pitcher, makes mistakes you have to make him pay because if not he’s going to beat you with the next pitch.
“So I think we took advantage of those pitches and we scored a couple runs right there.”
The Blue Jays offence has sputtered all season. Therefore, it came into the game ranked last in the MLB in batting averages (.218), on-base percentage (.285), on-base plus slugging (.660), and second-last in slugging (.375) and runs per game (3.75).
And they’ve had an especially rough go lately, with back-to-back sweeps on their recent six-game road trip that saw them outscored 37-16.
Asked how much Toronto needed Tuesday’s win, Galvis replied: “A lot.”
“I think that was a really nice win for everybody. I think we needed that one right there,” Galvis added.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays escaped a jam in the sixth inning when reliever Thomas Pannone walked two batters to start. Hudson replaced him on the mound and got the three outs.
“Hudson came in and cleaned that inning and that was huge,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Our bullpen was very good and Clayton Richard gave us a chance in the four innings he pitched.”