TORONTO — A three-run home run from Carlos Beltran silenced a sellout crowd at Rogers Centre and made the Toronto Blue Jays' winning streak and brief stay in first place come to an abrupt end.
David Price got into trouble in the eighth inning, and reliever Aaron Sanchez gave up the pinch-hit blast as the Blue Jays lost to the Yankees 4-3 Friday night, snapping their streak at 11.
The Blue Jays fell a half-game back in the American League East after leading the division since Wednesday night.
Price allowed at least one base runner in each of his first seven innings of work and needed 100 pitches to get through it. But manager John Gibbons opted to let the ace lefty start the eighth inning.
That decision proved to be ill-advised when Price allowed singles to Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann and then an RBI double to Chase Headley. When his night ended at 112 pitches, Sanchez served up a dead-meat fastball to Beltran, who drilled the ball over the fence in right-centre to give the Yankees the lead.
Price, who shut out New York on Saturday at Yankee Stadium, wasn't at his sharpest in allowing 11 hits. But he struck out six and kept the Yankees off the board until the eighth.
In the process, the Blue Jays passed the 1934 Tigers in becoming the first major-league team to shut out the Yankees for more than 31 consecutive innings. That streak got to 33 full innings before Price and Sanchez gave up runs.
It looked like Toronto had enough offence to get by, given the way its pitching had dominated not just against the Yankees but all month long. After going without a hit for the first two innings against New York starter Ivan Nova, the bats got going.
An RBI groundout by Troy Tulowitzki, double by Jose Bautista and sacrifice fly by Edwin Encarnacion made it 3-0 in a hurry. That lead remained until Beltran took Sanchez deep to quiet the crowd of 46,689 that had been raucous throughout the night.
The building was rocking again in the ninth as the Blue Jays got two runners on and the winning run in scoring position. After Ben Revere struck out, Tulowitzki worked a 12-pitch at-bat with six foul balls before striking out to end it.
Notes — Encarnacion was back in the lineup after missing four games with a sore left middle finger. ... Gibbons said the Blue Jays would decide on Price's next start Saturday. The options are Wednesday in Philadelphia and Friday at the Los Angeles Angels.
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