Yankees 4, Blue Jays 0: Aaron Hicks hits the game-winning home run

Yankees vs Blue Jays

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The Yankees’ winning streak now stands at nine games following a dominant pitching performance and a clutch hit by a struggling player.

Josh noted today that there just aren’t enough ways to describe how good the Yankees have been this year. There would be no bad luck today as the Yankees went out and did what they’d been doing all year: dominate as the pitching staff and find the right hits.

It was a tall order to secure a series win today, even with Jameson Taillon on the mound thanks to the Blue Jays sending Alek Manoah. The Yankees struggled to spot the star pitcher who blossomed in his sophomore year with the majors, but they succeeded today. Manoah went through the first three innings, but Anthony Rizzo started a one-out rally with a walk in the fourth. Gleyber Torres moved into midfield to pass Rizzo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a two-out single in the infield to load the bases.

That brought in Aaron Hicks, who had struggled a lot all year. The Yankees lineup was missing several starters, including Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson, so someone would have to fill in today to keep the offense going. The snake-bitten outfielder turned fortunes for an afternoon with a base-clearing double on the right field line, his first base-loaded extra base hit since 2017, and gave the Yankees a lead they would never give up.

On the other side of the ball, Taillon set about winning the upcoming pitching match and he delivered. Taillon rejected the Blue Jays on every occasion, whether it was a walkoff walk to George Springer to start the game or a leadoff double to Raimel Tapia to start the fifth inning, they couldn’t match consistency against Taillon keep going.

Toronto’s best shot came in the sixth inning when Springer’s walk and Bo Bichette’s single gave the Blue Jays Runners in first and second place with no outs. Taillon responded by gently flying Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to the left and holding Alejandro Kirk’s ball in the middle of the park. Taillon fed the ball to Michael King, who froze Teoscar Hernandez with a 98 mph fastball to end the threat.

The top half of the sixth gave the Yankees a chance to extend their lead when Gleyber Torres played a deep pass into midfield that Tapia caught against the wall but was initially ruled out. The Yankees defied him and voided the call, and then after Joey Gallo moved the runner up with a fly ball, Kiner-Falefa hit a double while nearly falling into the batter’s box to make the run .

From there, baseball’s two best hands shut the door on Toronto. King sat out the seventh inning and fended off a one-out single from Matt Chapman, then knocked out two batters in the eighth before handing the stuff to Clay Holmes. The reliever ace stranded Springer, who had previously run for a third run in the game, by getting Kirk to go for third and then tidying up the Blue Jays in the ninth.

Holmes has now broken Mariano Rivera’s franchise records for scoreless innings and consecutive appearances, a feat that seems unthinkable but fits right in with that team’s other dominant performances.

The Yankees now have nine straight games and won 16 of their last 17; Whichever way you look at it, this is the hottest team in baseball and the best team in the sport. They have a 12-game lead in the AL East and can extend it with a series sweep tomorrow afternoon, with Luis Severino set to return to the mound after skipping his start due to illness. Yusei Kikuchi is tasked with bringing him together and this game starts at 1:37 p.m.EST.

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