Betances surrenders go-ahead single, Yankees lose 4-1
TORONTO (AP) Once again, the offense came up empty for the New York Yankees.
On Tuesday night, so did the vaunted bullpen.
Kevin Pillar singled home the go-ahead run off Dellin Betances in the seventh inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees 4-1 for New York's fifth loss in seven games.
Pillar also made a highlight-reel diving catch in center as the Blue Jays won for the 12th time in 16 meetings with the Yankees.
With the score tied 1-all, Edwin Encarnacion doubled to begin the seventh, chasing CC Sabathia after 80 pitches and bringing Betances out of the bullpen.
Justin Smoak struck out and Russell Martin flied out before Devon Travis walked. Pillar followed with a ground-ball single to right, scoring Encarnacion. Darwin Barney then hit a two-run single but was caught in a rundown between first and second.
''With the leadoff double, I thought we needed a strikeout,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''We got it, and he got the next guy out. Unfortunately, a walk and a couple of base hits later, it's 4-1.''
Betances said he felt bad about letting Sabathia's runner score the winning run.
''If somebody leaves a runner on, I'm trying my best to get them out without them scoring,'' Betances said. ''CC pitched a great game, he's been awesome all year.''
Still, neither Sabathia nor Girardi blamed Betances for the outcome.
''It's always surprising when these guys give up runs,'' Sabathia said of New York's trio of Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. ''These guys are the best in the league. Nine times out of 10 they're going to be there to help us.''
Girardi said he understands that his relievers won't go through the season unscathed.
''Those guys aren't going to be perfect,'' he said. ''They're really, really good at what they do but they're not going to be perfect.''
Sabathia (3-4) allowed two runs and five hits in six-plus innings.
''He pitched a really good game tonight and again we weren't able to score,'' Girardi said.
The Yankees have scored four runs over their past three games.
''The guys in the room have to get it done,'' Girardi said. ''It's been a struggle for most of the year.''
Besides their big hits, Pillar and Barney each made spectacular catches. Pillar ended the fourth with a diving grab on Austin Romine's liner to right-center.
''Off the bat, as I watched it, I just thought there was no way that ball was going to be caught,'' Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ said. ''Then he covered the ground and somehow got it.''
Shifted around to shallow right, shortstop Barney raced into foul territory to make a sliding catch on Carlos Beltran's foul popup in the eighth.
Happ allowed one run and four hits in six innings.
Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game.
CC GETS MILESTONE K
Sabathia struck out four and moved past Chuck Finley into sole possession of 23rd place on baseball's career list. Sabathia has 2,614 strikeouts.
Yankees: INF Dustin Ackley will have season-ending surgery this week to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Girardi said.
Blue Jays: LHP Brett Cecil (triceps) has resumed throwing and will have his first bullpen session soon, GM Ross Atkins said. Cecil last pitched May 14 at Texas.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (3-0, 2.89) is one of four major league pitchers to remain undefeated through 10 starts.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (4-1, 3.29) has won his past three decisions and has not lost since April 22 against Oakland.