Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Careless Yankees Pay Price

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Careless Yankees Pay Price

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The Yankees spent most of Sunday afternoon grinding their way out of deficits against the Blue Jays.

Three times, on a steamy Bronx afternoon, the Yankees rallied against their division rivals, giving themselves a chance to win a game and a critical series.

And then, for the second straight day, they squandered that opportunity after multiple late-game mental blunders.

"It's a frustrating loss," manager Joe Girardi said. "Against a team we're fighting with, obviously."

The Blue Jays beat the Yankees, 5-4, pulling ahead on Dioner Navarro's RBI hit with two outs in the top of the ninth.

Toronto (56-50) took the final two games of this three-game series, surpassing the Yankees (54-50) for sole possession of the second American League wild card and second place in the American League East.

Navarro's hit was even harder to stomach for the Yankees, because of how easily the winning run got into scoring position.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Jose Bautista stood on first base as Navarro stepped into the batter's box. But, inexplicably, Yankees closer David Robertson paid him no attention, allowing him to get a massive jump.

"Yeah," Girardi said. "You can't let a guy get a walking lead."

Navarro took a swing and missed Robertson's first-pitch knuckle- curve. But there wasn't a throw because Bautista got such a good jump for only his fifth steal of the season.

"To be honest with you, I didn't think he'd be going," Robertson said. "I wish I had done a better job of holding Bautista on first. I just kind of let him slip my memory there for a second, and that's all it took."

Robertson nearly escaped the self-inflicted mess. He was a strike away from sending the Yankees to the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win it. Instead, Navarro muscled a 2-2 cutter into right field for what proved to be the winning hit. …

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