^By IAN HARRISON=
TORONTO (AP) _ Thanks to a pair of timely homers, the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t need a hit with runners in scoring position to beat the New York Yankees.
Justin Smoak had a tying two-run homer off Luis Severino in the sixth inning, Josh Donaldson homered against Tyler Clippard in the eighth and the Blue Jays rallied for a 3-2 win on Sunday and a four-game split.
“It was an important series for us,” Donaldson said. “It was nice to at least split the series and come away with a couple of nice wins.”
Toronto went 0 for 24 in the series with runners in scoring position, including 0 for 6 Sunday. However, the Blue Jays hit seven homers in the four games.
“It’s tough,” Yankees right-hander Luis Severino said of Toronto’s lineup. “They’ve got a lot of power. You have to be careful to not be in the middle.”
Matt Holliday hit an RBI double in the fourth off Marcus Stroman and a run-scoring double-play grounder in the sixth.
“We were able to get a couple of runs across and it looked like it might hold up but it just didn’t,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Kendrys Morales singled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Smoak hit his team-leading 14th homer, a drive into the center-field party deck that ended Toronto’s 15-inning scoreless streak.
On a day 20,000 Donaldson bobblehead dolls were given to fans, the 2015 AL MVP connected on a 3-2 fastball from Clippard (0-3) for his sixth home run this season and third in the series.
“I don’t know if I’ve even gotten a hit on one of my bobblehead days before,” said Donaldson, who has been honored twice previously.
It was the 12th time in his career that Donaldson has homered to tie a game or give his team the lead.
“It wasn’t a no-doubter,” Girardi said. “He’s had some big moments and he had a big one today.”
Joe Smith (2-0) struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Roberto Osuna struck out Aaron Judge, Holliday and Starlin Castro on 11 pitches for his 13th save in 16 chances.
Smoak’s game-tying drive was his 14th homer, matching his total from 2016.
“He’s in one of those zones right now,” Donaldson said. “When he’s getting those pitches to hit, he’s very rarely missing.”
Stroman allowed five hits in six innings, and Severino gave up six hits in seven innings.
New York went 3-4 on its seven-game trip, failing to win consecutive games. The Yankees are 11-13 since starting 21-9.
“We’ve got to be able to get more than two runs,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “We obviously haven’t been playing our best baseball the last week or two but we’re fully capable of picking things up a little bit. Hopefully going back home will do that.”
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