Travis hits tiebreaking homer, Jays sweep Reds with 5-4 win

Ross Houston
June 2, 2017

Bad location on the changeup was a key to Estrada's troubles. The New York Yankees right-hander makes his 11th start of the season in Baltimore, looking to extend an unusual run of success under the lights.

The Reds have scored in the first inning of six straight games, the first time they've done that since August 25-30, 1999.

After a gloomy, and dismal start to the season, the Toronto Blue Jays turned it around in May.

The Yankees have finished with double-digit hit totals in three straight games and four of the past five.

The Blue Jays hit nine homers in sweeping the Reds.

NY catcher Gary Sanchez cranked out two home runs and drove in three Yankee runs while Aaron Hicks knocked in four after going 3-for-4 with two doubles. "We made (Estrada) work really hard".

Overall though, it was an outing where next to nothing went right for Estrada, arguably the early-season ace of the Jays staff. The lefty found himself on the DL for a short period of time, and the Blue Jays use their other lefty, Aaron Loup, more than Howell.

It had been a slow start for catcher Sanchez, who past year had 20 homers in his first 53 games.

Two months down, four months to go in the 2017 Major League Baseball season.

Both of his homers on Thursday came off of Estrada changeups and both were measured at 430-feet plus.

But the AL East leading Yankees (31-20) wouldn't allow it.

"In the American League, especially in our division, you've got to hit home runs", Gibbons said.

This season, though, Barnes has been a workhorse in the Jays' bullpen.

On Thursday it was more of a stumble as he never found his rhythm and command was also an issue.

It was clear by the end of the second that Estrada didn't have it after he had allowed five hits and five runs on 51 pitches.

Gardner is the 41st player to collect 1,000 hits with the Yankees.

At some point, the Jays divisional record might have some significance and there's still time to salvage this four-game set.

Is he hurt? Has manager John Gibbons lost his mind?

The Yankees' catcher hit his second homer of the game and sixth of the season, with one out in the fourth inning after Gardner singled for a 7-0 lead. He and Ryan Tepera pitched the most innings (16 2/3 each) among Jays relievers in the month of May. With the game out of reach, Gibbons needed some innings to save his bullpen for the next three vs. the Yankees. Didi Gregorius struck out with the bases loaded for the second out, but Hicks picked him up with his three-run double. The Yankees followed with two unearned runs.

Hours before Thursday night's opener of a four-game home series against the Yankees, Gibbons reminisced with a smile about Barnes "coming out of nowhere" and walking right through the heart of Houston's lineup that day.

With the score tied 3-3 in the fifth, the Bats took the lead for good when Sebastian Elizalde hit a solo home run.

The idea is to give him the occasional break.

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