Estrada snaps slide as Jays blank Yanks

Aaron Judge reacts after striking out looking in the seventh

The loss dropped the second-place Yankees 4 ½ lengths back of the AL East-leading Red Sox who are on an eight-game winning streak and open a three-game series in The Bronx on Friday night. The loss by the Yankees (60-53) bumped Boston's lead to 4 ½ games. They didn't get blanked once before the All-Star break.

The Yankees' bigger concern, however, very quickly is becoming whether they can hang on to one of the two wild-card spots.

"We just never got the hits when we needed them", Girardi said.

But he got no run support.

Gray allowed four runs, two earned, in six innings in his Yankees debut on Thursday against Cleveland.

The Jays burned through six relief pitchers and the Yankees five. But I don't think there are any tests planned right now, " Girardi said cheekily. At least he was pitted against Indians' ace Corey Kluber.

Ichiro scored the Marlins' only run in the fourth on a single off Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (10-5), who pitched seven strong innings for the win.

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Despite hitting three home runs Wednesday off Jays starter Nick Tepesch, the Yanks (60-52) held just a 6-5 lead until the eighth, when Ronald Torreyes's two-run single provided some breathing room - and caused Espada to roll an ankle while waving in Garrett Cooper.

Estrada (5-7) allowed five hits and three walks while striking out six to end the drought of 12 starts without a win. The Yankees stranded 11 overall.

Clint Frazier is due to undergo an MRI on Thursday, though there's hope it's not an issue for the disabled list.

Aaron Judge went 1-for-3 with a double and two strikeouts looking to raise his total to 149.

The Yankees went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

The RISP failures started early. Osuna allowed a couple of walks, but struck out three, leaving Judge in the on-deck circle. Estrada, however, worked out of the jam, forcing the next two Yankees hitters to pop out before striking out Aaron Judge. Ezequiel Carrera doubled with one out and, with the count full on Ryan Goins, Gray fired a pickoff throw into centerfield for an error. "I won't get enough exercise then, so it was good (I racked up three hits today)", Ichiro said.

It is the same sort of predicament the Blue Jays find themselves in as they have been knocked senseless by injury and sub-par play for most of the season. Jose Bautista walked and on a full-count pitch to Russell Martin took off for second, stealing the base. One inning later Toronto added another run off of a Josh Donaldson single. Manager Joe Girardi, himself a former catcher, used Sanchez as DH on Saturday, kept him on the bench Sunday, and let media members know Sunday that Sanchez has been told to improve his defence. Gray charged and flipped the ball home with his glove, but Carrera slid outside and touched the plate with his hand to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

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