Yankees mash way to eighth straight win in rout of Blue Jays


TORONTO — It might be time to start figuring out the Yankees’ magic number. 

The Yankees used four homers and an eight-run fifth inning — highlighted by a grand slam from Anthony Rizzo — to win their eighth straight game, this one a 12-3 rout of the Blue Jays on Friday night in front of a near sellout crowd of 44,688 at Rogers Centre. 

With the win — also their 15th in their past 16 games — the Yankees improved to an MLB-best 48-16 and opened up an 11-game lead on second-place Toronto. They followed up a sweep of the Rays with a convincing victory against the team many considered the favorites in the AL East before the season began. 

The Rays also lost their fourth in a row on Friday, sliding 13 games behind the Yankees, leaving manager Aaron Boone’s team seemingly poised to run away with the division. 

“I understand where we are,’’ Boone said before the game. “I understand the kind of start we’re off to, the kind of position we’re in and we’re thrilled about that, obviously. We also understand, as a team and a group, we ain’t done nothing yet.” 

Anthony Rizzo crushes a grand slam in the fifth inning.

That won’t change until October, but in the meantime, the Yankees are tossing aside all challengers. 

It continued on Friday, as they opened a six-game road trip with Jordan Montgomery on the mound. 

The Yankees stranded four runners in the first three innings, while the Blue Jays got to Montgomery for a run in the second. 

Gleyber Torres helped the Yankees tie the score in the fourth after DJ LeMahieu opened the inning with his second opposite-field hit of the night. Torres belted a double to the gap in left-center to make it 1-1. 

After Joey Gallo walked, Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s fly ball to right sent Torres to third. Torres scored on Kyle Higashioka’s groundout to Toronto starter Ross Stripling to put the Yankees up, 2-1. 

Montgomery cruised after allowing the run-scoring single to Gabriel Moreno in the second, retiring eight straight. 

Jordan Montgomery pitches Friday during the Yankees' win over the Blue Jays.
Jordan Montgomery pitches Friday during the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays.

And the Yankees broke it open in the fifth, when the first six batters of the inning reached and scored. 

Rizzo was hit by a pitch by Trent Thornton to start the inning. Giancarlo Stanton followed by hitting a home run to right, his 14th of the season, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead. 

LeMahieu then drilled his sixth homer. 

The Yankees won their eighth straight game.

Torres and Gallo doubled to right to give the Yankees a 6-1 lead and after Kiner-Falefa singled and Judge was walked intentionally, Rizzo put the finishing touches on the inning with a grand slam. 

Gallo added a two-run homer in the ninth. The Yankees now lead the majors with 105 home runs on the season. 

It marked the fifth time in their past 13 games the Yankees have reached double figures in runs. They also improved to 23-10 in the AL East and have won 18 of their last 23 games against divisional opponents.

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