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Yanks squander lead, lose 4-3 to Blue Jays

Steve Tolleson #18 of the Toronto Blue Jays

Steve Tolleson #18 of the Toronto Blue Jays slides across home plate to score the eventual winning run for the Blue Jays in the seventh inning as Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Yankees reaches to make the tag during a game on Aug. 31, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Tom Szczerbowski

TORONTO -- In a season of some brutal losses for the Yankees, Sunday's might have topped them all.

Cruising much of the afternoon, Brandon McCarthy was buried by a quick-hitting display of power, leading into a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays in front of 45,678 at Rogers Centre.

The Yankees (70-65), who came into the afternoon trailing the Orioles by eight game in the AL East and were 3½ games behind the Tigers and Royals for the second wild-card spot, went 3-4 on a trip that started last Monday night in Kansas City.

After a day off Monday, the Bombers start a nine-game homestand Tuesday against the Red Sox.

McCarthy, who allowed four runs and five hits over six innings, held a 2-0 lead with two outs in the sixth before allowing solo homers to three of the next four hitters he faced.

Melky Cabrera began the onslaught with a shot to right, his 16th of the season and fifth against his former team, and Jose Bautista followed that with his 28th of the season, a deep drive to left that marked five straight games in which the rightfielder homered.

Edwin Encarnacion's leadoff homer in the seventh tied it at 3-3 and, after McCarthy walked Dioner Navarro, Joe Girardi brought on Dellin Betances. The 6-8 righthander struck out Colby Rasmus and Danny Valencia. Pinch-runner Steve Tolleson stole second and No. 9 hitter Munenori Kawasaki grounded a 2-and-1 fastball to right. Tolleson steamed around third as rightfielder Carlos Beltran came up throwing. Beltran's throw was on target to Francisco Cervelli but a diving head-first Tolleson slipped his hand across the plate just before the catcher could tag him, making it 4-3.

Jays lefty Brett Cecil allowed two base runners in the eighth but struck out Cervelli, who had a triple and RBI single to that point, to end the threat.

Righty Casey Janssen, who has posted a 7.98 ERA since the All-Star break, pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.

After retiring Stephen Drew on a pop up, pinch-hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, who injured his left ankle in the ninth inning Friday, blooped a double down the rightfield line. With Brett Gardner, a single away from hitting for the cycle, at the plate, Ichiro Suzuki came in to pinch run. Gardner grounded sharply to first, which moved Ichiro to third, bringing up Derek Jeter as the Yankees' last hope. The shortstop, honored on-field before the game with this being the Yankees last trip to Toronto this season, lined out softly to second to end it.

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