Blue Jays blow out Yankees, could be finding stride at right time

The Toronto Blue Jays handled the visiting New York Yankees with ease on Friday night, winning 9-0 and kicking off the final 10 games of their playoff run on the right foot.

Toronto wasted no time at the plate, loading the bases in the bottom of the first for Troy Tulowitzki who drove in Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion with a single to left field.

Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell filled the bases with Blue Jays again the very next inning and walked Edwin Encarnacion on a high 3-1 fastball to put Toronto up by three. The inning was almost blown open on a ground ball up the middle by Jose Bautista, but Ronald Torreyes made a nice stab in the hole to start the double-play.

A bunt single from Ezequiel Carrera got the bottom of the seventh started and he was quickly moved to third on a Devon Travis single. With the bases loaded soon after, a double from Bautista stretched the lead out to 5-0. Tulowitzki slapped a single through a hole in the right side two batters later to put Toronto out in front by seven, giving him four RBI on the night.

Donaldson’s two-run home run in the eighth, his 36th of the season, extended the blowout to 9-0.

Francisco Liriano was excellent on the mound for Toronto, working six shutout innings on an even 100 pitches. His slider looked especially strong against left-handed batters as he allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out six.

After a scoreless seventh from Joaquin Benoit, Brett Cecil got the nod in the eighth with a big lead and looked sharp. He retired all three batters he faced and was spotting his signature curveball, a good sign for the Blue Jays in the most important stretch of their season. Danny Barnes wrapped things up with a very clean ninth.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 4:07 ET. Marcus Stroman (9-9, 4.50 ERA) will face veteran left-hander CC Sabathia (8-12, 4.19 ERA).

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