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Yankees breathe huge sigh of relief in 4-2 win over Toronto after O’Neill ceremony

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Yankees beat Blue Jays 4-2
New York Yankees’ Andrew Benintendi rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run that also scored Jose Trevino during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

It hadn’t been the cleanest of starts for Andrew Benintendi, but the former Royal came through when the Yankees desperately needed a spark. 

Benintendi’s first home-run as a Yankee helped end New York’s three-game skid with a 4-2 win over the rival Toronto Blue Jays. 

The all-star was traded to the Yankees before the trade deadline in July of this year and struggled mightily over the last month. Benintendi has hit just .192 in 22 games for the Bronx Bombers. 

His first home run helped turn the game-long boos from the home crowd to cheers as the Yankees were able to hold off a potential sweep of the Blue Jays to take one out of four games.

New York got the scoring started early thanks to an error in the first inning by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on a base hit from DJ LeMahieu. 

LeMahieu would be credited with an RBI single in the third inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Still, Toronto refused to go away quietly. A Whit Merrifield solo-home-run tied the contest at one in the top of the third, and Jackie Bradley Jr. walked to tie the game at two in the seventh off of reliever Jonathan Loaisiga. 

Loaisiga’s walk ended up costing starting pitcher, Nestor Cortes a potential win after a solid start. Cortes threw six innings of one-run baseball while striking out five. The lefty kept Toronto’s torrid offense at bay while giving the offense chance after chance to extend their lead. 

In the end, it came down to one of the Yankee’s newcomers to change the course of the team’s outlook. Benintendi’s home run in the seventh ended up breaking the 2-2 tie and brought the Bronx crowd a massive sigh of relief. 

The Yankees were able to hold on to the win thanks to a clean six-out relief appearance from another Yankee newcomer in Lou Trivino. Trivino was credited with the victory: his second of the season. 

New York was able to hold off a sweep of the Blue Jays at home, but their struggles in August showed up throughout Sunday’s contest. The Yankees weren’t able to muster up much offense at all outside of Benintendi’s homer, and a strong starting pitching game was squandered due to an inconsistent bullpen. 

New York’s struggles since the All-Star break have been well documented. The Yankees are now 10-20 since the break and a disappointing 13-25 in their last 38 games. With the win today, the Yankees did improve their August record to 5-14 and extended their AL East division lead back up to eight games. 

The festivities began early in the Bronx with the retirement of Paul O’Neill’s #21 jersey in a ceremony that began before the contest. During the ceremony, both general manager, Brian Cashman, and owner Hal Steinbrenner were booed by the hometown team. 

The Yankees are back in action Monday night when they welcome the New York Mets to the Bronx. Max Scherzer is expected to make the start, while Domingo German will start for the Yankees. 

First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 pm – ET. 

For more New York Yankees news, turn to AMNY.com