TORONTO (AP) — Todd Frazier’s best night since joining the Yankees helped New York’s struggling offense get back on track.
Frazier homered and had three RBIs, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius also went deep and the Yankees overcame a shaky start by Masahiro Tanaka to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-5 on Wednesday night.
Rookie Garrett Cooper had four hits for the Yankees, who had not scored in double figures since a 13-4 win at Houston on June 30. New York’s 17 hits were one shy of its season high, set June 10 against Baltimore.
“We needed that,” Frazier said. “That was a good win for us, a good offensive outburst. Hopefully, we build on that.”
Frazier, who entered in a 5-for-33 slide, went back-to-back with Sanchez in the second, hit a two-run double in the fifth, then added a leadoff single in the eighth for his first three-hit game since the Yankees acquired him from the Chicago White Sox last month. He was hit on the left elbow by a pitch in his final plate appearance and, at Girardi’s suggestion, sat out the bottom of the ninth.
“Hopefully, tomorrow it’ll be just fine,” Frazier said.
Cooper was not in the original starting lineup but replaced Clint Frazier, who felt tightness in his oblique during batting practice and is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday.
“I’ve been feeling it for a few days,” Clint Frazier said. “I want to make sure everything is all right before I keep going.”
Gregorius hit his 18th homer in a third, a two-out drive off Nick Tepesch (0-2).
“When our offense was really going good, that’s what we were doing, we were getting production from everyone,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s good to see.”
Tanaka walked a season-high five in four-plus innings, allowing three runs — two earned — and two hits. He left two batters into the fifth after Jose Bautista homered and Josh Donaldson walked. Chad Green (2-0) struck out three straight for the Yankees, who remained four games behind AL East-leading Boston.
Making his first start for Toronto in place of Cesar Valdez, who has an injured right shoulder, Tepesch allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“They took advantage of some pitches I left over the plate,” Tepesch said.
Aaron Judge drew his 82nd walk, breaking Charlie Keller’s 1939 Yankees rookie record. Boston’s Ted Williams holds the major league record with 107 in 1939.
Judge went 0 for 4 and struck out in the eighth, extending his club record streak of games with at least one strikeout to 26. Judge was the only New York starter without a hit.
“The strikeouts don’t worry me,” Girardi said. “The productivity is what you want. As long as he remains productive and he’s getting on base and hitting home runs, you can live with it.”
ESPADA TAKES A TUMBLE
Yankees third base coach Joe Espada rolled his ankle and fell down while waving Cooper home in the eighth. Espada was laughing and smiling after receiving attention from the trainer. “His ankle is probably going to be sore,” Girardi said. “I don’t think there any any tests planned.”
Kevin Pillar climbed the center-field wall and jumped, nearly robbing Sanchez of his home run.
Bautista has 35 career home runs against the Yankees, tying him with Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria for the most among active players.
Raffy Lopez became the sixth player to start at catcher for the Blue Jays this season, a franchise record.
Yankees: A scan showed no new damage to LHP CC Sabathia’s arthritic right knee, but his status for Sunday night’s start against Boston remains unclear. … OF Aaron Hicks (strained right oblique) was 1 for 4 with a home run for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is expected to be activated off the DL Friday, Girardi said. Hicks is 8 for 24 at Scranton; he last played for the Yankees on June 25/
Blue Jays: Toronto optioned LHP Matt Demody to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Tepesch, while SS Troy Tulowitzki (right ankle) was transferred to the 60-day DL to open a spot on the 40-man roster. The move effectively ends Tulowitzki’s season, making him ineligible to return before Toronto’s final three games. … OF Steve Pearce started at DH after having fluid drained from his knee following Tuesday’s game.
Yankees: RHP Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41) is to pitch on six days’ rest Thursday when he makes his second start with New York. Gray has a 1.59 ERA over his past six starts.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12) remains winless in 12 starts since a May 27 victory over Texas. Estrada has a 2.84 ERA over his past three starts.
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