BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gary Sánchez made two of his team’s season-high four errors and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the sloppy Yankees 14-1 Wednesday night, dealing New York perhaps a fatal blow in its race for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“That was not Yankee baseball at all,” Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said. “Everything was bad tonight. It’s almost like we’re the Bad News Bears.”
Manager Aaron Boone was disappointed in his team’s play.
“Errors are going to happen, mistakes are going to happen, you’re going to have a bad game, but we’re better than we played tonight,” Boone said.
Danny Jansen homered twice, once off No. 3 catcher Erik Kratz in the eighth, as the Blue Jays reduced their magic number to one for clinching a wild card berth and their first postseason appearance since 2016.
“It’s a great feeling,” Jansen said. “We’re not done yet, work is not done.”
Tampa Bay clinched its first AL East title since 2010 when it beat the New York Mets 8-5 and opened a 4 1/2-game lead.
“That’s something we had our eyes set on, but we didn’t accomplish that,” Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier said. “At least we’re going to go to the playoffs.”
Voit have the Rays credit but anticipates a postseason meeting, perhaps in the Division Series.
“We’ll see them again,” he said.
The Yankees, who have four games left, are two games back of the Chicago White Sox for for the No. 4 seed and a home-field berth next week and are tied with Cleveland at 32-24. The White Sox dropped behind Minnesota into second place in the AL Central.
Shortstop Gleyber Torres and Voit also made errors for the Yankees, who went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position, a night after going 8 for 18 in a 12-1 win. Toronto out-hit New York 16-4.
Masahiro Tanaka (3-3) allowed five runs — three earned — and eight hits in four innings. New York dropped to 2-4 against the Blue Jays in Buffalo this season.
“Definitely a grind for me tonight,” Tanaka said through a translator.
Sánchez made an errant pickoff throw in the first, allowing Teoscar Hernández to score from third and giving Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Randal Grichuk reached on a two-out error by Torres in the third and scored on Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI double.
Cavan Biggio singled in the fourth on a ball that ticked off Voit’s glove and evaded second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Biggio went to second when Voit couldn’t handle a pickoff throw from Masahiro Tanaka (3-3) and scored on Grichuk’s two-out single.
After a catcher’s interference call against Sánchez wiped out what would have been the first out in the sixth, and the Blue Jays went on to score eight runs. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run single, and Biggio and Bo Bichette had two-run doubles.
A.J. Cole (3-0) escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the fifth by striking out Giancarlo Stanton, then retiring Voit on a popout and Torres on a flyout. Sánchez and Stanton each went 0 for 4 and struck out three times.
“Cole made some good pitches to wriggle out of an inning where we had a chance to get back into it,” Boone said.
Ross Stripling pitched four innings for his first save since 2017.
New York loaded the bases in the second but the only run came on a passed ball when left-hander Robbie Ray and Jansen got crossed up.
Blue Jays: Manager Charlie Montoyo said RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) felt good after throwing a bullpen Tuesday. .. INF Travis Shaw returned to the lineup after being scratched Tuesday because of back spasms. … Montoyo said RHP Rafael Dolis was available. Dolis did not pitch Tuesday because of a sore right knee. … RHP Julian Merryweather (elbow) played catch before the game. … INF Rowdy Tellez (right knee) tracked pitches during batting practice.
LeMahieu went 2 for 4, raising his ML-best average to .360.
Jansen has six home runs and 15 RBI in 18 career games against the Yankees.
New York had its most errors since making five against Houston on May 29, 2018.
Kratz made his second pitching appearance in four games.
Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 5.12) will face Toronto LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (4-2, 3.00) in Thursday’s series finale. Ryu is 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.
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