EditorsNote: updates 8th graf, fixes Diaz and Gurriel names in 9th graf
CC Sabathia put the Yankees in an early hole by allowing three homers in 2 1/3 innings, and a late rally fell short as New York continued its late-season struggles with an 8-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Sabathia (7-7) allowed five runs on seven hits in his shortest outing in more than three years. Randal Grichuk homered in consecutive at-bats, and Kevin Pillar also homered off the left-hander.
The Blue Jays surged to an 8-1 lead only to see it nearly evaporate.
Yankees rookie Miguel Andujar slugged a grand slam in the seventh off Tyler Clippard to make it a one-run game. Andujar’s second career grand slam occurred after Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorius slugged solo homers.
After Andujar hit his 24th homer, Andrew McCutchen struck out on a check swing.
Gregorius also homered in the sixth, but when he came up in the eighth with a runner on first, the shortstop fouled out, and the inning ended when Ken Giles fanned Gary Sanchez.
Giles was the seventh reliever used by Toronto. He also pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save and ninth with the Blue Jays.
The Yankees (91-57) lost for the 10th time in 18 games and lead Oakland by 1 1/2 games in the wild-card race. They stranded 10 and finished 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position,
Aledmys Diaz drove in three runs for the Blue Jays with an RBI single in the second and a two-run single in the seventh. RBI singles by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Richard Urena accounted for Toronto’s other two runs.
Before homering, Stanton struck out twice against rookie starter Sean Reid-Foley (2-3). When he struck out in the fifth, Stanton fell to the ground and pounded the dirt with his right fist.
Reid-Foley allowed two singles in five innings and struck out 10. He struck out every Yankees batter at least once except for Gregorius.
Toronto manager John Gibbons and catcher Luke Maile were ejected by plate umpire Roberto Ortiz in the second inning.
—Field Level Media