TORONTO (AP) Carlos Beltran came off the bench and did something no Yankees player had done in more than 20 years.
Pretty timely, too.
Beltran hit a huge three-run homer in the eighth inning, Andrew Miller escaped a big jam in the ninth and New York stopped Toronto’s 11-game winning streak, beating the Blue Jays 4-3 Friday night.
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It was New York’s first go-ahead, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning or later of a road game since Don Mattingly did it against the Angels in July 1994.
”As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to leave the ballpark,” Beltran said. ”It’s a good feeling being able to come off the bench and come through and help the team win.”
Miller struck out Ben Revere and Troy Tulowitzki with runners on second and third to close out the victory. The win moved the Yankees a half-game ahead of Toronto and back into first place in the AL East.
David Price took a 3-0 lead into the eighth before New York rallied. He left after Chase Headley’s RBI double and Beltran then greeted reliever Aaron Sanchez (6-5) with a pinch-hit, three-run homer.
”I didn’t get my job done and it cost us a win,” Sanchez said.
Ivan Nova (5-4) wound up with the win. Dellin Betances pitched the eighth and Miller finished for his 26th save, fanning Tulowitzki to end a 12-pitch sequence.
”I was running out of gas there,” Miller said. ”That’s everything I’ve got for an inning.”
A one-out walk and single, plus a wild pitch by Miller with one out put the Blue Jays in position in the ninth.
Tulowitzki kept fouling off pitches during the tense at-bat, which included several mound meetings between Miller and catcher Brian McCann. Tulowitzki swung and missed at a full-count pitch, silencing a sellout crowd at Rogers Centre.
”Two of the best players in baseball,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ”That’s what people want to see, pay to see. That was a great, great at-bat.”
Toronto lost for the first time in 14 games with Tulowitzki in the starting lineup.
The Blue Jays, who swept a three-game series in the Bronx last weekend while giving up a total of one run, had gone 33 innings without allowing a run to the Yankees until they broke through.
”Hopefully its gives us confidence,’ manager Joe Girardi said. ”We went through a tough streak there offensively.”
That shutout streak is the longest the Yankees have gone without scoring against a single opponent, eclipsing 31-inning streaks against Detroit in 1934 and the Washington Senators in 1913.
The Blue Jays failed to win a franchise-best 12th game for the fifth time in team history. Toronto has won 11 straight twice this season, also doing it in June.
Price won with seven shutout innings at Yankee Stadium last weekend. He was in control this time, too, in the opener of a three-game set before the Yankees scored four times.
”I thought we did a pretty good job against a really good pitcher,” Girardi said.
Beltran’s homer stopped a 25-inning scoreless streak by Toronto’s bullpen. Blue Jays relievers hadn’t allowed a run since the ninth inning of an Aug. 2 win over Kansas City.
All three Blue Jays runs came in the third. Tulowitzki hit an RBI grounder, Jose Bautista doubled home a run and Edwin Encarnacion hit a sacrifice fly.
New York’s Alex Rodriguez came in hitless in 11 at-bats but doubled in the first, his first extra-base hit since Aug. 6.
OUT OF A JOBA
Former Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and was granted his release by Toronto’s Triple-A team in Buffalo.
Yankees: Girardi said DH Alex Rodriguez will likely sit out either Saturday or Sunday.
Blue Jays: Encarnacion returned at DH after missing the previous four games with a sore left middle finger.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (8-5, 3.79 ERA) will have had five days of rest when he faces Toronto for the second straight start. Tanaka allowed solo home runs to Donaldson and Bautista in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (10-6, 3.21 ERA) seeks to win his fourth straight start when he faces the Yankees on Saturday. Estrada blanked New York over 6 1-3 innings last Sunday as Toronto capped a three-game sweep in the Bronx. He has allowed only one home run in his past seven outings.