The night started with some very bad news for the Toronto Blue Jays. The game started equally bad.
It all turned around in one chaotic 44-minute inning.
Wiping out a 6-2 deficit, the Jays exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth and whacked the New York Yankees, 12-7, Monday night in the opener of their three-game series at Sahlen Field.
Three New York relievers needed 67 pitches to get out of the inning. Adam Ottavino didn't get an out, allowing four hits and two walks. Travis Shaw's two-run single snapped a 6-6 tie and Danny Jansen, who entered the game batting .148, followed with his first career grand slam by belting a towering drive to left-center.
The Blue Jays (23-18) moved two games in front of the Yankees (21-20) in the battle for second place in the American League East with the stunning turnaround.
The Blue Jays erupted for double figures after losing their top hitter, right fielder Teoscar Hernandez, to the injured list with an oblique injury. Hernandez, second in the American League with 14 home runs, was injured Saturday in Boston and could be down a couple weeks.
Toronto ace Hyun-Jin Ryu was torched for back-to-back home runs in the first by Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks, another solo shot by Miguel Andujar in the fourth and a two-run double by Clint Frazier in the fifth. He left in a 5-2 hole. The offense rescued him.
How to take the lead in a New York minute 😉👇 pic.twitter.com/d3BLERo0VF— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 8, 2020
The sixth inning tally
The Blue Jays scored 10 runs in an inning for the first time since 2010. They did it on only five hits with four walks and an error. All 10 runs, capped by the Jansen grand slam, came before two outs were made.
According to STATS Inc., it was the first time the Yankees bullpen has allowed 10-plus runs in an inning since June 22, 1932, against the St. Louis Browns.
Sluggers on the mend
Injured Yankees outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were both busy back home in the Bronx as they continue to nurse their leg injuries. Stanton is closer to returning as he's doing multiple baseball activities. Judge just started running on Monday.
Said manager Aaron Boone: "I know he's feeling well and everything went well in his first running on the field. That was good news."
Around the horn
• The series continues Tuesday night at 6:37 (YES Network) as Toronto's Taijuan Walker (1-0, 1.54 in two starts since being acquired from Seattle) meets New York lefty and former Blue Jay J.A. Happ (1-1).
• ESPN.com attended the Blue Jays' opening game here on Aug. 11 and the Boston Globe attended the series against the Red Sox. That's been it for visiting media organizations thus far, but that changed with the Yankees in town.
ESPN, the New York Post, New York Daily News, Newsday and Bergen (N.J.) Record are all on hand for this series. The Post is represented by veteran columnist Mike Vaccaro, a 1989 St. Bonaventure grad and diehard Bona basketball fan.
• The series opener marked the first September baseball game in Buffalo since Sept. 1, 2016, the Bisons' home finale against Scranton.
It's the latest action at Sahlen Field since Sept. 11, 2005, the 6-4 loss to Indianapolis in the decisive Game 5 of the International League semifinals. The Bisons lost three straight at home to blow that series and have yet to return to the postseason since.
• The cardboard cutout population in the ballpark has grown again as likenesses of a few dozen Blue Jays fans have been placed in the right-field party deck to join the couple thousand that ring the lower level of the ballpark.
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