Springer has now hit 57 leadoff jacks in his career, good enough for second all-time. Five of those have come against the Yankees. Only Eddie Yost (7) has hit more against the pinstripers, according to the YES Network’s James Smyth.
MLB Most Leadoff Home Runs All-Time
81 Rickey Henderson (25 seasons)
57 George Springer (10th)
54 Alfonso Soriano (16)
53 Craig Biggio (20)
Most vs Yankees All-Time
7 Eddie Yost
5 George Springer
4 Brady Anderson
4 Don Buford
4 Jose Cruz Jr.
— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) September 19, 2023
While a Gleyber Torres double tied the game in the first, Springer’s game-opening drive foreshadowed a 7-1 win for the Blue Jays and a subpar night for Clarke Schmidt. The Yankees starter, who is well beyond his previous career-high for innings pitched, logged five frames but gave up four earned runs and two dingers.
Schmidt walked two and struck out just one.
“We talked about before the game how strike throwing’s become a real strength for him this year, and [he] probably just wasn’t as sharp tonight,” said Aaron Boone, who added that he’s not concerned about fatigue when it comes to Schmidt.
Cavan Biggio’s RBI single in the fourth put Toronto back in front, while Bo Bichette’s two-run homer in the fifth gave the Jays a comfy lead against a Yankees lineup that didn’t score again after Torres’ double. The Blue Jays scored again in the ninth inning when Alejandro Kirk clubbed a two-run homer off Zach McAllister.
An error from Anthony Volpe spotted Toronto one more run.
Toronto’s starter, Yusei Kikuchi, tallied five innings, four hits, one earned run, one walk and seven strikeouts before exiting with a left upper trap muscle cramp.
“Kikuchi pitched really well,” Torres said. “The bullpen threw really well, too. We didn’t take advantage of any opportunity tonight.”
The Yankees had a chance to tack on in the sixth when Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and one out. But the designated hitter, who is not fleet of foot, bounced a ball to shortstop, resulting in an inning-ending double play.
“Yeah,” Boone said when asked if Stanton’s running “just is what it is.” The slugger, who is now hitting .190, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two double plays.
Having dropped the first game of the series, the Yankees will look to rebound against Kevin Gausman on Wednesday. Michael King will start for the Yanks as he tries to further his case for a 2024 rotation spot.
Gerrit Cole, meanwhile, will try to pad his Cy Young candidacy when he pitches on Thursday. José Berríos will start the series finale for Toronto.
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