The Yankees can rest easy every fifth day, knowing that they’ll hand the baseball to one of the world’s best pitchers in Gerrit Cole. Now they must determine how to navigate the rest of the calendar.
New York’s ace and bullpen have been terrific in the early going, but Cole’s partners in the starting rotation have had difficulty finding their footing. Jameson Taillon was knocked for five runs in 3 2/3 innings as the Yankees fell to the Blue Jays, 7-3, on Tuesday at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla.
Cole is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA through three starts, but the rest of the Yanks’ rotation has combined to go 1-3 with a 5.28 ERA in the other eight contests. Tuesday marked the first rough outing for Taillon, who permitted eight hits and endured a 34-pitch second inning after setting down Toronto on eight pitches in the first inning.
Josh Palacios opened scoring with a two-run single in the second inning off Taillon. Randal Grichuk lifted a sacrifice fly in the third, an inning set up when first baseman Jay Bruce was unable to scoop a throw from shortstop Gio Urshela. Marcus Semien hit a fourth-inning homer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled home a run to chase Taillon, who threw 59 of 84 pitches for strikes.
The Yankees were stymied by Hyun Jin Ryu, who faced the minimum through five frames, helped by a generous strike zone from home plate umpire Erich Bacchus. Ryu held New York to four hits over 6 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven.
Giancarlo Stanton drove in two of the Yankees three runs with a two-run single to center in the eighth that had an exit velocity of 120 mph, per Statcast. Rougned Odor picked up an RBI with a groundout.
The Blue Jays have won each of Ryu’s four starts against the Yankees since he signed a four-year, $80 million deal before last season. Rowdy Tellez extended Toronto’s lead with a fifth-inning home run off left-hander Lucas Luetge.