Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Jose Bautista hit home runs 39 and 40 on the season, the second of which was a tie-breaking solo blast off David Robertson in the eighth inning, boosting the Blue Jays to a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees.
Bautista’s other blast was a two-run shot in the third inning off rookie Ivan Nova, who was making his first major league start. Nova threw a pitch up and high over Bautista in the sixth inning, causing the benches to clear.
Two innings later, Bautista took Robertson’s 0-1 offering well over the wall in left field to expand his major league-leading lead in homers. Prior to Monday, Robertson (2-4) hadn’t allowed a run in his last 19 appearances.
Brandon Morrow sparkled in the start for the Blue Jays, fanning 12 over six innings. Morrow, who struck out a career-best 17 during a one-hit shutout against Tampa Bay on August 8, gave up four hits and two runs, while walking a pair of hitters. He fanned three batters in an inning three times Monday.
Scott Downs (5-5) got an inning-ending double-play grounder off the bat of Mark Teixeira in the eighth inning, and Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 28th save. Gregg walked Robinson Cano to start the inning, but later fanned Curtis Granderson on a questionable third strike call from home plate umpire Jerry Meals on an outside pitch. Pinch-hitter Derek Jeter fouled out down the first base line to end the opener of this three-game series.
Nova departed after giving up six hits over 5 1/3 frames as the Yankees lost for the second time in seven games. They hold a half-game lead in the AL East on Tampa Bay, which plays in Anaheim Monday night.
Cano and Jorge Posada drove in the runs for New York.