Bichette homers twice, Blue Jays top Yanks 6-5, tighten race

Bo Bichette homered twice, tiebreaking home run off Clay Holmes in the eighth inning that lifted the Toronto Blue Jays over the Yankees 6-5, tightened the AL wild card race and ended New York’s seven-game winning streak

TORONTO — Bo Bichette homered twice, tiebreaking home run off Clay Holmes in the eighth inning that lifted the Toronto Blue Jays over the Yankees 6-5 Wednesday night, tightened the AL wild card race and ended New York’s seven-game winning streak.

Marcus Semien hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the first off a faltering Gerrit Cole, setting a big league record with his 44th home run of the season as a second baseman. Semien topped the 43 by Davey Johnson for for Atlanta in 1973.

George Springer doubled on Cole’s first pitch and Semien homered on Cole’s sixth. Springer hit an RBI single in the second and Bichette’s solo homer in the third built a 4-0 lead against Cole, who allowed his first six hits on fastballs.

Kyle Higashioka hit a tying, two-run single in the seventh off Tim Mayza.

With the score 5-all, Bichette led off the eighth against Clay Holmes (8-4) with his 28th home run, an opposite-field drive that cleared the scoreboard in right-center.

Adam Cimber (3-4) got four outs for the win. With a runner on second and the crowd of 29, 601 on its feet, Jordan Romano retired Tyler Wade on a game-ending flyout for his 22nd save in 23 chances.

Boston closed within one game of the wild card-leading Yankees, and Toronto is one game back of the Red Sox. Seattle, which began the day 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees, hosted Oakland in a late game.

New York’s Joey Gallo hurt a hand when hit by a Mayza pitch in the sixth and left the game. Luke Voit appeared to hurt a leg running to first after striking out later in the inning.

Cole allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings, raising his ERA to 3.23. He could start Sunday on three days’ rest against Tampa Bay in the regular-season finale or would be lined up to pitch next Tuesday’s wild-card game.

Toronto has hit a major league-high 251 home runs. Bichette set a Blue Jays record for shortstops.

Semien and Bichette reached 100 RBIs and joined Teoscar Hernandez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to give Toronto four 100-RBI players for the first time.

José Berríos retired the first 14 Yankees in order, striking out seven, before giving up three straight hits in the fifth. Gleyber Torres broke up the perfect game with a double down the left- field line, Gio Urshela hit an RBI single and scored when Brett Gardner doubled.

Guerrero snapped an 0 for 20 slump with an RBI double in the bottom half after Gallo and Urshela failed to communicatre and allowed Springer’s leadoff fly to drop between them in left field for a double.

Aaron Judge’s sacrifice fly in the sixth cut it to 5-3.

ROSTER MOVES

The Blue Jays optioned RHP Anthony Castro to Triple-A Buffalo and selected the contract of RHP Jacob Barnes from Triple-A. … INF Jake Lamb cleared waivers and was released. Lamb was designated for assignment last Thursday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

RHP Jonathan Loáisiga (shoulder) was activated and pitched a perfect seventh. LHP Andrew Heaney was optioned to the Florida Complex League. … RHP Jameson Taillon, who left Tuesday’s game after aggravating his right ankle, is expected to undergo an MRI when the team returns to New York. It’s not clear whether Taillon will pitch again this season.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays LHP Robbie Ray (13-6, 2.68) starts Thursday against Yankees. RHP Corey Kluber (5-3, 3.82). Ray is 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in two starts against New York this season.

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