Gerrit Cole pitched eight effective innings, pinch-hitter Gary Sánchez connected for a two-run homer and Aroldis Chapman dodged trouble in the ninth as the New York Yankees held off the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Sánchez’s 10th homer of the season in the seventh gave the Yankees back-to-back victories behind key pinch hits, following Clint Frazier’s go-ahead double in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 6-5 victory.
Chapman permitted hits to the first two batters in the ninth, putting runners at second and third, but escaped for his 14th save. Cole (8-3) held the Blue Jays to four hits.
Marcus Semien and Cavan Biggio homered for Toronto, which has lost three straight and five of seven. Ross Stripling (2-4) limited New York to three hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings and tied a season high with nine strikeouts.
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In the ninth, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led off with a single and Teoscar Hernández followed with a double to right field. After striking out Randal Grichuk, Chapman fielded a comebacker and started a play in which Sánchez threw out Guerrero, who was trying to retreat to third base. The call was upheld after a 70-second video review.
Chapman then got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to fly out to end the game.
The ninth-inning drama overshadowed a fine pitching duel between Cole and Stripling.
After the Yankees scored a first-inning run, Stripling set down 18 of 20 batters and allowed no hits until Miguel Andújar singled leading off the seventh, the precursor to Sánchez’s homer, which elicited chants of “Gary! Gary!” from a Yankees-centric crowd of 7,271 at Toronto’s temporary home in western New York.
Cole, meanwhile, retired 22 of his last 25 batters, with the only blemishes being a two-out walk in the second inning, Biggio’s fifth-inning homer, and Hernández reaching on an error in the sixth.
Toronto reliever Rafael Doliz, who substituted Stripling, left the game with an apparent injury after issuing a four-pitch walk.
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