Yankees' bats quiet, bullpen implodes in 9-3 loss to Blue Jays

After Juan Soto‘s late scratch, the Yankees’ offense struggled and the bullpen imploded as New York fell 9-3 to the Blue Jays on Saturday.

Here are the takeaways…

For the 10th straight game, the Yankees’ opponent scored first. This time, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put Toronto up early with a two-run shot in the first inning. It’s the third straight game Guerrero homered.

Nestor Cortes would settle down until the fourth inning when a leadoff double by Justin Turner turned into another run after an Alejandro Kirk double. The Blue Jays hit a lot of hardhit balls off of Cortes who could not make it out of the fifth.

The southpaw pitched 4.1 innings (87 pitches/53 strikes) giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five. Jake Cousins came in with men on first and third with one out, and struck out Guerrero Jr. and got Turner to ground out to end the threat and keep the score at 3-1.

While Cousins did a good job of keeping the Jays off the board, the rest of the pen did not. The combination of Phil Bickford and Caleb Ferguson allowed five runs — all charged to Bickford — on five hits and two walks. Guerrero Jr. had the big hit, a bases-clearing double to cap off the five-run inning.

Clay Holmes would give up a run on two hits in his one inning of work.

-Without Soto in the lineup, the Yankees had a difficult time scoring. They did have their opportunities, though. In the first, they had men on first and second and one out, but could not push a run across.

The threat was extinguished when Ben Rice was caught at third on a double steal. In the third, Aaron Judge was intentionally walked with Rice on second and a base open with two outs. Alex Verdugo popped out to end the inning. Toronto had another opportunity to intentionally walk Judge in the fifth with a runner on third and two outs, but they pitched to the slugger and he made them pay with an RBI single.

-Rice had one of his best days at the plate as a big leaguer on Saturday. Hitting in the two hole for Soto, Rice went 2-for-4 with a double, his first extra-base hit in the majors.

Judge went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 80th RBI of the season. Judge became the third Yankees ever to have 80 RBI before July, joining Babe Ruth (1926) and Lou Gehrig (1927, 1930)

Austin Wells hit his third home run of the season in the ninth, a two-run shot, to give the Yankees their second and third runs of the game.

Game MVP: Vladimir Guerero Jr.

The slugging first baseman gave the Yankees fits on Saturday. Vlad went 3-for-5 and drove in six runs.

Chris Bassitt deserves some props. After getting hit by a line drive from Judge, he stood in the game to give Toronto six strong innings.


What’s up next

The Yankees and Blue Jays complete their four-game series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:37 p.m.

Gerrit Cole (0-1, 9.00 ERA) looks to rebound as he takes the mound against Kevin Gausman (6-6, 4.26 ERA)

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