The Yankees will have to wait at least one more night to clinch a playoff spot.
Marc Rzepczynski’s nine strikeouts led the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-5 win over New York in the first of a three-game series at the Rogers Centre, Monday night.
Rzepczynski (3-4) had six consecutive strikeouts, tying the club record set by Ted Lilly in 2004.
The 25-year-old starter, who won his last appearance against Seattle, pitched five innings, allowing only two runs and five hits, while walking three batters.
With the victory, Toronto (81-75) spoils the Yankees’ chance to punch their ticket to the post-season. New York (93-64) would have clinched their spot with one more win.
The blue birds opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, jumping on former Jay, A.J Burnett, early.
Travis Snider started the inning with a ground rule double, advanced to third on a grounder, and was brought home by Jose Bautista for the 1-0 lead.
In the second, John Buck hit a solo home run and the Jays were ahead 2-0.
The third brought more of the same, as Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer.
Toronto now leads the majors with 243 homers, and are just two home runs away from breaking the franchise record, set in 2000.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had enough of starter A.J. Burnett after the Jays’ four consecutive hits, calling reliever Jonathan Albaladejo
Burnett (10-15) allowed seven runs on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings, with only one strikeout.
The right-hander continues to struggle when he returns to Toronto, as he is now 0-3, with an ERA over seven when he faces the Jays at Rogers Centre.
Edwin Encarnacion proceeded to welcome the right-handed Albaladejo with a sacrifice fly that scored Toronto’s seventh run.
A two-run home run by Curtis Granderson ended Rzepczynski shutout run in the fifth, and he left the game after the inning, as Brian Tallet came in for the top of the sixth and threw a shutout inning.
The Yanks would get to Tallet in the seventh, as Mark Teixeira homered to center, bringing Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher home.
However, it wasn’t enough. The Blue Jays now have won 8 of the last 10 games and five in a row.
New York will give the ball to their ace CC Sabathia tomorrow, with the responsibility of holding Toronto’s power and delivering the Bronx Bombers a playoff berth.
Kyle Drabek will be on the mound for the home team, looking to earn his first win of the season.