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Greeted by boos at Yankee Stadium, George Springer responded with the type of racket he and his Toronto Blue Jays are ready to make.
Springer hit a go-ahead, two-run homer and an RBI double, and the Blue Jays made three dazzling defensive plays to beat New York 3-0 Monday night.
Toronto is off to a 3-1 start after missing the playoffs last year despite a 91-71 record.
“I think that the world is probably a little bit behind what we thought, but we’ve always been confident in what we can do,” shortstop Bo Bichette said. “We’ve known that we had an ability to make some noise for a few years internally. Obviously, we didn’t. But I think this is the first year that people are kind of on board.”
Bichette made two sparkling plays, Teoscar Hernández had a great grab in right field and Alek Manoah (1-0) allowed one hit over six innings.
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“Those little things, that’s how you win games,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “They’re just kids, so they’re just going to get better little by little.”
Springer remains targeted by fans for his time on the 2017 championship Houston Astros, found guilty by Major League Baseball of stealing signs with an unauthorized camera.
Fans booed Springer before and during each at-bat, and he finished a triple short of the cycle in the leadoff spot. No. 9 batter Santiago Espinal had three singles for the Blue Jays.
“I’m concentrating on the stuff that I can control, which is the swings and all that stuff,” Springer said.
Manoah permitted only Joey Gallo’s opposite-field single with one out in the second. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out seven and worked around four walks, helping the Blue Jays extend their Yankee Stadium winning streak to five.
He pitched six shutout innings of two-hit ball to win his major league debut in the Bronx last May 27.
“It’s the mecca,” Manoah said. “You kind of want to come in, you want to play hard. There’s a lot of fans here and it’s just an exciting ballpark to play in and something you dream of as a kid.”
Springer followed Espinal’s third-inning single by pulling a slider from Jameson Taillon (0-1) into the left-field seats for his second homer in two days. Espinal hit a two-out single in the seventh and scored when Springer sliced a fastball to the opposite field for a double on two hops to the right-field wall.
Manoah loosened up before the game with a football, then mixed 44 fastballs, 22 sliders, 18 sinkers and 15 changeups, getting five swings and misses on fastballs, four on sliders and three on changeups.
He walked the bases loaded in the third before Giancarlo Stanton hit a broken-bat grounder to Bichette, who made a backhand pickup and off-balance throw to first from the edge of the outfield grass.
Hernández slid to grab Kyle Higashioka’s looper into short right field with two on in the seventh after Gleyber Torres’ leadoff single off Trevor Richards and Aaron Hicks’ walk.
Espinal, shifted to the left side of second, ranged back to the right side of second to glove pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson’s 106 mph grounder against Adam Cimber. Espinal flipped to Bichette, who made an acrobatic, 360-degree turn at second and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
Jordan Romano finished the four-hitter for his third save and 26th in a row dating to last season, and the Yankees lost their second straight after opening with two wins. Of the seven times New York was shut out last year, two were against Toronto.
Taillon became the first Yankees pitcher to last five innings, allowing five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
“They made a couple big plays when they did get in trouble, but for the most part Manoah was in control,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Yankee Stadium has a bit of a club vibe during batting practice. A bass speaker has been installed at the front of each dugout.
DYE IS CAST
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took batting practice with a tie-dye colored bat. He wasn’t sure what brand. “Somebody just put it in my locker. I just grabbed it,” he said through a translator.
While Michael Kay and David Cone were in the YES broadcast booth at Yankee Stadium, Paul O’Neill called the game from home in Ohio due to family issues, the network said.
Blue Jays: C Danny Jansen was put on the 10-day IL with a strained left oblique muscle. LHP Anthony Kay was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, C Tyler Heineman selected from the International League club, LHP Tayler Saucedo was optioned to Buffalo and OF Josh Palacios was designated for assignment.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery has “some swelling that’s kind of moved around the knee” after getting hit by Xander Bogaerts’ 103 mph comebacker Sunday, Boone said.
LHP Nestor Cortes (2-3, 2.90 ERA in 2021) starts for the Yankees on Tuesday night and LHP Yusei Kikuchi (7-9, 4.41) for the Blue Jays.