By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — A rare two-run sacrifice fly. Plenty of pop and pitching. Plus, a three-game winning streak for the first time in what’s been a rugged season.
It all had Toronto manager John Gibbons feeling pretty frisky — so much so, he phoned into the team’s fan reaction radio show after the Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 7-1 Monday night.
“First-time caller,” he said from his office, without giving his name. But he did ask the host: “Is it the same bozos every night?”
OK, maybe it wasn’t such a surprise. Smiling, Gibbons said the host inquired, “Is this John from the Bronx?”
Ryan Goins hit the first two-RBI sacrifice fly in the team’s 40-year history to go along with his two-run homer, backing a strong start from Marco Estrada.
A pair of runs scored when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury caught Goins’ deep drive before running face-first into the padded wall. It was the first such play in the majors since Wil Myers knocked in two runs with a sac fly for Tampa Bay against the Yankees in 2014.
“Pretty cool,” Goins said. “I can put that in my back pocket.”
The crowd of 25,566 was the smallest for a Yankees home game since Sept. 20, 2004, against Toronto in a game moved to accommodate a makeup date. The current Yankee Stadium opened in 2009.
Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer for his 34th career shot off the Yankees, moving past Evan Longoria for most among active players. Chris Coghlan also homered for Toronto.
“A lot of guys did a lot of good things,” Gibbons said.
Still missing injured stars Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays kept up their success against the Yankees, beating them for the 11th time in the last 16 meetings and outscoring them 82-44 in that span.
Estrada (1-1) pitched seven fine innings in his sixth start of the season. He gave up one run on seven hits without a walk, striking out five.
Luis Severino (2-2) was hit hard and left in the sixth.
Goins, who began the day with four RBIs this season, broke an 0-for-15 rut by homering in the second. In the sixth, he came up after Justin Smoak led off with a single and Devon Travis doubled.
Goins hit a long fly that Ellsbury grabbed. He fell to the warning track and, staggered, made a short toss over the head of 6-foot-7 right fielder Aaron Judge, who was backing up the play.
Travis alertly tagged up and scored from second behind Smoak without a throw. Ellsbury didn’t need assistance and stayed in the game.
“It was quite a play,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It was unfortunate that they scored two runs on it, but it was a great play.”
Judge lined a single for the Yankees’ run. Showing he’s more than a slugger, Judge also threw out a runner at third.
Coming off three straight sharp starts, Severino seemed headed in the wrong direction from the outset.
In the first, he began walking toward the Toronto dugout when Smoak lofted a routine fly for the third out. In the sixth, after he stumbled and got a visit from Girardi and a trainer, Severino started ambling toward the Yankees dugout when Luke Maile hit a fly for the second out.
Severino realized his mistake, got back on the mound and Coghlan hit the next pitch into the right-field seats. That really was the end for Severino.
Ellsbury kept up his knack for reaching base on catcher’s interference. He had seemed to ground into a force play in the sixth when he was awarded first base, his bat having nicked Maile’s mitt. Ellsbury set a major league record last year by reaching 12 times on the rare call — he’s done it 27 times overall, two behind the all-time mark held by Pete Rose.
“I was talking about it before the game, that I was aware of it,” Maile said. “I was sure I was far enough back. And I was dead wrong again. He got me.”
Plenty of fans throw the ball back when they catch a home run hit by a visiting player. But a ground-rule double? Happened in the sixth when Travis bounced a drive into the right field seats. With the crowd chanting “throw it back,” a fan tossed the souvenir onto the grass.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez went back on the 10-day DL with a split fingernail. Toronto’s next series is at Tampa Bay, and Gibbons said Sanchez could throw a few innings in a rookie Gulf Coast League game.
Yankees: 3B Chase Headley was out of the lineup for a regular day of rest.
Blue Jays: RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 3.27 ERA) makes his third start for Toronto. He pitched six scoreless innings vs. St. Louis last week.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (3-1, 4.20) pitched a three-hit shutout at Boston in his last start, his third straight win.
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