Gausman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays shut out Yankees for 3rd straight win

Kevin Gausman tossed seven sharp innings and the Toronto Blue Jays became the latest team to shut out the New York Yankees, beating the AL East leaders 4-0 Friday night.

The Yankees were held to four singles and didn’t get a runner beyond second base as they lost for the 14th time in 18 games. They have been blanked three times in the last six games and five times in the last 13 games — Aaron Judge and his teammates were shut out just six times in the first 107 games.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to help the Blue Jays move within eight games of the Yankees, the closest they’ve been to first place since June 13.

Gausman (9-9) allowed four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. It was the third scoreless effort in four starts for Gausman, a span in which he has a 1.75 ERA.

The right-hander issued a one-out walk to Judge in the first and gave up a two-out single to Josh Donaldson before retiring 10 in a row.

Gausman induced Isiah Kiner-Falafa to hit into a double play in between fifth-inning singles by Gleyber Torres and Oswaldo Cabrera and struck out Donaldson to strand Anthony Rizzo following a two-out single in the sixth.

Yimi Garcia threw a perfect eighth and Jordan Romano tossed a hitless ninth in a non-save situation.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who turned 23 on March 16, collected his 500th career hit by doubling to lead off the sixth. His Hall of Famer father had 305 hits prior to turning 24.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had an RBI groundout in the third before Alejandro Kirk led off the fourth by singling against Jameson Taillon (11-4). Hernandez followed with a long homer to left-centre — the 14th surrendered in the last 11 starts by Taillon, who gave up just six homers in his first 12 starts.

Danny Jansen had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Taillon allowed six hits and walked none with five strikeouts over five-plus innings. He has a 5.35 ERA since carrying a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels on June 2.

Cabrera made an immediate impression in his first big league start in right field by leaping at the eight-foot wall and robbing Lourdes Gurriel of a homer on the first pitch of the game by Taillon.

The rookie punctuated the catch by flexing and yelling before firing the ball back into the infield and exchanging an enthusiastic hand slap with Judge, the centre fielder.

It was just the fourth professional start in right field for Cabrera, whose versatility — he is the first player in Yankees history to make his first three starts at three different positions, he started at third base and shortstop earlier this week — and energy has already impressed manager Aaron Boone.

“I think you see him move around the infield, the way he moves and picks up a ground ball is really good,” Boone said. “Can really impact the ball, too. So he’s turning himself into a really good player and I think he’s going to be a good player in this league for along time. The intangible things are really special.”

Blue Jays outfielder George Springer didn’t start after fouling a ball off his knee while going 5-for-5 in Thursday’s win.

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