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Aaron Hicks’ RBI double the difference as Yankees beat Blue Jays 4-0

New York has won nine straight and holds a 12-game lead over second-place Toronto in the American League East

By John Chidley-Hill in Toronto

Alex Manoah has emerged as the Toronto Blue Jays ace this season. But even he couldn’t slow down the red hot New York Yankees.

Aaron Hicks drove in three runs with a double and New York held on for a 4-0 win over Toronto on Saturday. Manoah felt he had a solid outing even though he was charged with all four runs and took his second loss of the season.

“I felt good, was able to attack the zone, get some weak contact and try my best to give the team a chance,” said Manoah.

Manoah (8-2) struck out five but allowed six hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings as Toronto (37-28) lost its third game in a row. His earned-run average, still the lowest in the Blue Jays rotation, rose to 2.00 with the loss.

“I just think if I go out and I execute my pitches, attack the zone and just compete I’ll be able to give my team a chance every time,” said Manoah, who has the fifth-best ERA in all of Major League Baseball.

David Phelps, Tim Mayza and Trent Thornton came out of the Blue Jays bullpen for 2 2/3 of scoreless relief.

Jameson Taillon (8-1) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Yankees (49-16) with four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. Michael King and Clay Holmes completed the shutout.

New York has won nine straight and holds a 12-game lead over second-place Toronto in the American League East.

Hicks hit his bases-clearing double in the fourth inning. Manoah loaded the bases and, with two outs, Hicks stroked the ball to right field to cash in Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

“(Hicks) came through huge today. That was a huge at bat,” said Taillon, who is Canadian. “We’re all very aware that Manoah has been on. He’s been extremely tough to get to. 

“I mean, just to even put ourselves in a situation to get a hit like that, it seems like he doesn’t really ever have traffic on the bases.”

In the next at bat, Jose Trevino attempted to check his swing but was hit by the pitch. Manoah and Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo argued with the umpires, saying that Trevino did not check his swing and should have been called out instead of taking first.

Both Manoah and Montoyo were still salty about the call after the game.

“I threw a pitch and he swung,” said the pitcher.

Montoyo laughed when asked if he got an explanation for the call with a curt “no.”

Montoyo was ejected from the game after getting into it with home plate umpire Ryan Additon and first base ump Ryan Wills. Montoyo said after the game that he tried to put the heat on him so that the umpires wouldn’t eject Manoah.

“Don’t ever want to see anyone get ejected, especially for something he’s right about,” said Manoah. “But yeah, I appreciate him going to war for our team and not just me, but for everybody.”

Toronto left-fielder Raimel Tapia appeared to catch a Torres fly ball at the wall in the sixth inning. Upon video review, it was ruled that the ball popped out of Tapia’s glove and bounced off the fence before he regained control, which gave the Yankees infielder a double.

That misplay came back to haunt the Blue Jays, as Kiner-Falefa doubled to bring home Torres for a 4-0 Yankees lead. 

RICHARDS SHELVED — Toronto placed right-handed reliever Trevor Richards on the 15-day injured list with a neck strain Saturday. Lefty Matt Gage was recalled from triple-A Buffalo in a corresponding move.

RYU HAS SURGERY — Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu underwent Tommy John surgery. Ryu is expected to be out for 12 to 18 months following the procedure.

UP NEXT — Toronto’s Yusei Kikuchi (2-3) will get the start as the Blue Jays close out their three-game set with the Yankees on Sunday. New York will counter with Luis Severino (4-1).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2022.

Feature image – New York Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, left, slides safely into home ahead of a tag by Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk after a three-RBI double by Aaron Hicks in fourth inning American League baseball action in Toronto on Saturday, June 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jon Blacker.