Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, the New York Yankees ran baseball’s longest winning streak of the season to 11 games thanks to a six-run seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays (NYY 9, TOR 1). Aaron Judge slugged a game-tying solo home run in the sixth inning, then broke the game open with a two-run double in the seventh.
The seventh inning was not without controversy. With runners on the corners and one out, catcher Jose Trevino hit a ground ball to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base, and Guerrero fired home to catch Marwin Gonzalez in a rundown. Gonzalez evaded the tag and scored on the play to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead, though replays showed Guerrero tagged him on the back. Here’s the video:
And here is the screen grab of Guerrero applying the tag on Gonzalez:
The Blue Jays lost their challenge earlier in the inning and were unable to review the play. Bo Bichette pulled Vlad Jr. off the bag with a throw on Giancarlo Stanton’s leadoff ground ball and the Blue Jays challenged that Guerrero kept his foot on the bag, but no luck. The replay crew did not see enough evidence to overturn the call. Toronto was then unable to challenge the play on Gonzalez later in the inning. Teams lose their challenge if it is unsuccessful.
Had Gonzalez been called out, the Yankees would have had runners at first and second with two outs and a 3-1 lead (81.1 percent win probability). Instead, they wound up with runners at second and third with one out and a 4-1 lead (93.6 percent win probability). Pretty significant swing there.
Gonzalez, Judge, and former Blue Jay Josh Donaldson all had run-scoring doubles in the seventh inning. Aaron Hicks contributed an RBI single as well. Seven of the first eight batters the Yankees sent to the plate in the seventh inning reached base. Tuesday’s game was a pitchers’ duel up until that point — starters Jameson Taillon and Alek Manoah each held the other team to one run in six very strong innings.
Controversial rundown aside, the unquestioned highlight of the game came in the sixth inning on Judge’s game-tying home run, though the highlight is not the home run itself. It’s the Blue Jays fan catching the ball and giving it to a young Yankees fans wearing a Judge jersey. This is the good stuff:
Tuesday’s win was New York’s 11th straight. It is the longest winning streak in baseball this season — the Dodgers, Marlins, and Twins have each had a seven-game winning streak — and the longest Yankees winning streak since a 13-gamer last April.
The win also snapped Toronto’s winning streak in games started by Manoah. They’d won each of his last 12 starts dating back to last season. That’s the second longest such streak in franchise history behind a 13-game winning streak in starts by the late Hall of Famer Roy Halladay in 2003.
At 18-6, the Yankees have baseball’s best record. They ranked third in runs scored per game and second in fewest runs allowed per game coming into Tuesday. The Blue Jays dropped to 15-10 with the loss.