NEW YORK — The Toronto Blue Jays opened a season-high 4 1/2-game lead in the AL East, sweeping a doubleheader from the sagging New York Yankees 9-5 and 10-7 on a sodden Saturday when Troy Tulowitzki cracked a shoulder blade and Marcus Stroman won in his return from a spring training knee injury.
Jose Bautista homered twice, Chasen Shreve forced in three runs with bases-loaded walks in the 11th inning, and the Blue Jays rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the opener.
Cliff Pennington hit a two-run homer and former-Yankee Russell Martin added a two-run double in a six-run second inning against Ivan Nova that boosted the Blue Jays in the rain-interrupted nightcap before only a few thousand fans who stayed from the original crowd of 46,278.
Brett Gardner hit a pair of three-run homers for New York in the second game and homered three times in the doubleheader.
Tulowitzki, Toronto’s All-Star shortstop, broke his left scapula in the opener during a second-inning collision with
While Tulowitzki walked off on his own, he was diagnosed with a cracked scapula and upper back bruising. The Blue Jays said he will be monitored for the next week to determine a timetable for his return.
Stroman (1-0), who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a fielding drill on March 10, pitched no-hit ball into the fifth inning before allowing a pair of infield singles and the first of Gardner’s three-run homers. Stroman was removed after a 33-minute rain delay in the middle of the sixth.
New York closed to 6-4 when play resumed, but Ben Revere hit a two-run infield single in the seventh on a bases-loaded, two-out grounder to first baseman Greg Bird, Revere’s fourth hit of the game. Pitcher Chris Capuano couldn’t reach first base in time and, as Capuano kept running past the bag without turning to face the plate, Ezequiel Carrera sped home from second.
Gardner hit another three-run drive in the eighth off Jeff Francis. Mark Lowe pitched the ninth for his first save since 2011.
Seeking its first
New York, which led the division by seven games on July 29, lost its fifth straight. The Yankees are 2 1/2 games ahead of Texas for the AL’s first wild card, with Minnesota one game back of the Rangers.
Nova (6-8) got just five outs with 60 pitches, allowing six runs, seven hits, two hit batters and two wild pitches.
Toronto had just one hit in the 11th inning of the opener, Revere’s RBI single, but sent 10 men to the plate as Bryan Mitchell (0-2) and Shreve combined to walk five batters and hit another. Martin, Josh Donaldson and Bautista got RBIs with free passes in Toronto’s first inning with three bases-loaded walks since Sept. 6, 2009, also against the Yankees, according to STATS.
“If you get swept, I think that it becomes harder to win your division,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the first game. “It does not mean that it’s impossible.”
Bautista hit two of Toronto’s four home runs in the first game, including an eighth-inning drive off Dellin Betances that put the Blue Jays ahead 5-4 and increased Bautista’s season total to 35. Edwin Encarnacion and Revere also connected for the Blue Jays, who homered 10 times in the first three games of the four-game series and boosted their major league-leading total to 202.
Gardner, Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez homered against Marco Estrada.
After Brian McCann’s tying single, Roberto Osuna escaped a bases-loaded, one-out threat by getting Headley to pop out and Bird to ground to second baseman Cliff Pennington, who made a sliding stop on the outfield grass.
Liam Hendricks (5-0), Toronto’s seventh pitcher, got the final out of the 10th and 27-year-old rookie Ryan Tepera got three outs for his first big league save.
Bautista’s fourth-inning homer to right was just the eighth opposite-field homer of his career, STATS said. He has 281 homers overall.
Revere’s homer was his first since Sept. 5 last year for Philadelphia at Washington.
Michael Pineda allowed three homers in a game for the first time since August 2011 and left after 5 1-3 innings, four runs and six hits.
Goins, Toronto’s shortstop, ranged behind second base to take away a hit from Gregorius is the second game and used his glove to flip to second for the forceout.
New York is 3-8 in extra-inning games this year.
Masahiro Tanaka (11-6) starts for the Yankees in Sunday’s series finale against R.A. Dickey (10-10).
Ronald Blum, The Associated Press