Toronto keeps AL wild-card lead
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.