Gary Sanchez's two-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning was the difference in the Yankees' 3-2 comeback win over the Blue Jays Wednesday night in Buffalo.
BUFFALO — Because of Gerrit Cole, Gary Sanchez started Wednesday night’s game on the bench.
But when the Yankees needed runs, they turned to Sanchez in the seventh inning with the offense floundering and he delivered a two-run, go-ahead homer in a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays at Sahlen Field.
As he circled the bases after the 446-foot blast, another pro-Yankee crowd chanted, “Gary, Gary!”
Cole did much of the rest in what was his last start before MLB begins its crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances. His spin rate was down again and he gave up two more homers, but that was the only damage Toronto did against him, as Cole allowed two runs in eight innings.
He struck out just four, but was effective and didn’t allow a hit after the fifth inning.
Aroldis Chapman entered in the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and a double to Teoscar Hernandez to start the inning before Randal Grichuk struck out.
Chapman then got pinch-hitter Santiago Espinal on a comebacker, threw home and Sanchez threw to third and got Guerrero for the second out.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. appeared to foul off the first pitch, and Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo argued that it should have been a live ball but lost that fight. Chapman then got Gurriel to fly out to end the game.
The Yankees had a chance to give Cole a big early lead against Ross Stripling.
DJ LeMahieu reached on an error by Joe Panik at third to start the game. Aaron Judge smoked a single to left and Gleyber Torres walked to load the bases with no one out and Giancarlo Stanton coming to the plate.
Stanton hit a sacrifice fly to score LeMahieu, but that was the only run the Yankees got, as Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar flied out to keep it 1-0.
Cole then gave up a leadoff homer to Marcus Semien to lead off the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
He allowed a second solo homer in the bottom of the fifth, a one-out blast from Cavan Biggio to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.
Cole has given up five homers in his last three starts after allowing just five in his first 11 outings.
And Stripling cruised into the seventh.
The right-hander retired 14 in a row after the Torres walk in the first, not allowing another base runner until Brett Gardner walked with two out in the fifth. The Yankees’ next hit didn’t come until Andujar opened the seventh with a single down the right-field line.
After Rougned Odor struck out looking, Sanchez pinch hit for Kyle Higashioka and delivered.
Before the game, Aaron Boone said there was no consideration given to keeping Sanchez’s hot bat in the lineup with Cole on the mound, Higashioka behind the plate and Stanton at DH Wednesday.
“[Sanchez] is gonna need a day off here in this stretch of games,’’ Boone said. “This builds a natural day in there.”
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin