Toronto keeps AL wild-card lead

Baltimore Sun - - BASEBALL - By Ian Har­ri­son

TORONTO — One play­off avenue closed for the New York Yan­kees. Their sec­ond may soon slide shut, as well.

Fran­cisco Liri­ano and three re­lief pitch­ers com­bined on a three-hit­ter, Troy Tu­low­itzki had four RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays routed the Yan­kees, 9-0, on Fri­day night to main­tain a one-game lead in the Amer­i­can League wild-card stand­ings.

New York lost for the ninth time in 12 games af­ter a se­v­engame win­ning streak and was elim­i­nated from con­tention in the AL East.

The Yan­kees are four games be­hind the Detroit Tigers for the sec­ond wild card with nine games left.

“Things are kind of slip­ping away at this point,” out­fielder Brett Gard­ner said. “We’re not out of it, but we’re def­i­nitely not in a good po­si­tion.”

Josh Don­ald­son hit a two-run homer and Ed­win En­car­na­cion got his 124th RBI, tied with the Bos­ton Red Sox’s David Or­tiz for the AL lead, as the Blue Jays won their sixth straight home game over New York.

Gary Sanchez had two hits for the Yan­kees, who were shut out for the sec­ond straight night and the fifth time this month. New York has gone 0-for-12 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion in its past two games and stranded 17 run­ners.

“It’s not what you want,” man­ager Joe Gi­rardi said. “It’s frus­trat­ing.”

Liri­ano (8-13) es­caped a bases­loaded jam by strik­ing out Chase Headley to end a 27-pitch first in­ning, then left run­ners at the cor­ners af­ter the first two bat­ters reached in the third.

That was the start of a stretch dur­ing which the left-han­der re­tired nine straight.

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