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Jays earn first series win in a month

The SportsXchange

It was a long time coming. The Toronto Blue Jays won their first series of August when they beat the New York Yankees 8-5 on Wednesday.

Toronto finished 2-6 on a road trip that was reduced to eight games by a rainout in Baltimore.

The Blue Jays took two of three from the Yankees. It was their first series win since they took two of three from the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre from July 27-29. They are 7-19 in August.

Toronto made some key pitches to keep the Yankees at bay, but in most games this month, if the Blue Jays gave up five runs, they were going to lose because they were averaging fewer than three runs a game.

However, in their two victories at Yankee Stadium, the Blue Jays scored eight runs each time.

The difference-maker Wednesday was shortstop Yunel Escobar, who had three doubles and a homer to drive in five runs, which equaled his career best. The Blue Jays got some help from a Yankees defense that contributed three errors, making three of the five runs scored against CC Sabathia unearned.

On a club that is one of the worst in the league at successfully executing the sacrifice bunt, Escobar does well in that category. He has a 6-for-8 success rate this season when he puts the ball in play.

Even so, he wasn't able to bunt the ball in the sixth inning when manager John Farrell called for the sacrifice after Adam Lind led off with a single.

"We're in the middle innings, and we're looking to play for a run to tie it up," Farrell said.

It was a dubious strategy that early in the game and on the road, and particularly against the Yankees in their band box in the Bronx.

Luckily, once the count went to two strikes, the bunt was off, and Escobar hit a 3-2 pitch for a two-run homer to put the Blue Jays into a lead they did not give up.

"Things kind of swung our way from that point," Farrell said.

Funny how that works. Let the hitters swing away, and sometimes the games will swing your way.
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