4 runs in the 5th inning is all the Toronto Blue Jays needed to enjoy a victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. The Yankees scored 2 in the 4th, but the Blue Jays came right back to complete a winning inning at Rogers Centre. The Yanks made it interesting late, with a run in the top of the 8th, but that was all they could produce for 5 innings.
The loss pushed the Yanks back to 38-21, as they still have a 2.5-game lead in the AL East. Tampa lost as well, so everything remains the same in the division. The Red Sox did win in KC to move within 7.5 games of 1st. All the Red Sox can do at this point is chip away at that lead and get closer by the time the All-Star break arrives. In the meantime, the Yankees continue to hold onto a lead in a tight race over the Rays.
The Yankees fell for their second straight game following a loss to the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball as well. However, the Yankees still won that series with two games to one over the weekend. Last night was the third win in a row for the Blue Jays over the Yankees. Despite having a losing season and laying down a foundation for the future, the Blue Jays have been able to feel good about their success over New York.
James Paxton made his return to the hill after a stint on the IL for almost a month. He was on fire against the Padres in a 7-0 win over Chris Paddack. Paxton was heating up before suffering the minor injury and was able to pick it right up when he returned. Paxton will be on the bump for this contest tonight. Countering Paxton will be Trent Thornton for the Blue Jays. Head blow for our free Yankees vs. Padres pick.
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When Paxton is rolling, the Yankees have a serious weapon on their hands in the rotation. He is likely going to be the difference between this team making a deep run in the postseason and faltering. If he performs at an elite level, the Yankees are going to be a tough out with a healthy lineup offensively.
Thus far, Paxton has been everything the Yankees hoped for when they traded for Sonny Gray. If you recall, Gray was a massive bust in the pinstripes, prompting the Yankees to go searching for a new pitcher in the offseason to fill the void. Gray has excelled in Cincinnati, so it’s worked out for everyone involved.
Paxton has been at his best of late and didn’t allow the break due to an injury slow him down. The lefty has given up no runs in four of his last five starts for the Yanks. That goes across 21 innings of scoreless baseball for Paxton.
The Yankees didn’t want to overwork Paxton and reaggravate his injury, so were careful with him against the Padres. He pitched 4 innings without allowing a hit or run. His only blemish was 2 walks. In 28 at-bats against this lineup, Paxton has allowed just 2 runs. He should be on top of his game in his home country tonight at Rogers Centre. The last time Paxton was here he pitched a no-hitter with the Mariners in May of 2018. He was throwing 100mph in the 9th inning of that game at 98 pitches.
The guy known as the Big Maple will look for a repeat performance tonight just a year later in Toronto. Expect Paxton to get some decent run support tonight against Thornton. After a lackluster evening, the Yankees’ bats should be able to come out and play. While Paxton has memories of a no-hitter at Rogers Centre, Thornton has been abysmal with an ERA of 6.23 and 1.58 WHIP. This will be his first appearance against the Yankees in his career. Backed up Paxton pitching on his home soil, look for the Yankees to respond with a win by 2 or more runs Wednesday in Toronto.