Bichette brings down the house with a two-homer night as Jays ding Yanks – .

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Bichette brings down the house with a two-homer night as Jays ding Yanks – .


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It was about five hours before the encore and the fist dance around the bases after one of the biggest home runs of his young career.
Bo Bichette spoke with the confidence of a veteran, not a young player trying to make his way through the final stages of his first full season in the big leagues, one with potentially faltering playoff prospects.

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The calm turned to rowdy when Wednesday afternoon turned to night and after a two-homer game from the Blue Jays shortstop, the trigger man in a spectacular 6-5 win over the Yankees from New York to keep Toronto’s playoff light flickering.

Bichette’s solo shot in the eighth inning brought the house down for one of the Jays’ most dramatic – and frankly most important – wins in what still has a chance to be a magical 2021 season.

And perhaps best of all for Bichette and her ever-growing squad, the Jays weren’t intimidated by a Yankees squad that brought a seven-game winning streak to the Dome.

“We don’t look at (the Yankees) like that,” Bichette said when asked before the game if this precocious team was intimidated by the Bronx Bombers. “We know what we can accomplish. If it happens this year, it happens this year.
“But I think what we’re going through right now… I can’t really say how beneficial it’s going to be in the future. We’re just focused on how much better we can be, anyway. “

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The Jays have certainly had a taste of what to expect in Toronto, if they continue on their way to becoming perennial contenders.

A near-full crowd of 29,601 at the Rogers Center erupted as Bichette’s second home run of the night just broke through the wall in the middle of the field to regain a lead her team had held for much of the night.

It was a crucial victory, of course, keeping the Jays chasing the Yankees and Red Sox for a wildcard spot in the American League. Boston maintained a one-game advantage for second place with a win over the Orioles, but the Jays moved within two of the Yankees for first place.

As much as anything, Wednesday’s win showed once again just how resilient the team can be.

They took him early to Yankees ace Gerrit Cole – thanks to Bichette’s first dinger of the night, three hits from George Springer and a record-breaking round trip from Marcus Semien.

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A playoff chase can be an excruciating thing, character-building or withering a player or team. The Jays grow significantly through the process.

“A playoff race, learning to handle the adrenaline… I just think it’s something that’s pretty easy to handle when you’re working out,” Bichette said. “The (Yankees) are just another team trying to accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish. I don’t consider them to be at a higher level than us.

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Improving to 88-70, the Jays showed a lot on Wednesday – thanks to the work of starter Jose Berrios, who didn’t touch the Yankees in 4.2 innings and gave his team the kind of start to clutch she needed.

They got it from Springer, who led the game with a brace – his first of two on the night. And they got it from the remarkable Semien, who, with 44 home runs after his first inning, set an MLB record for most round-trip players in a season by a second baseman.

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A thrilling night all around, yes, but a learning experience all over again, something Springer encouraged his team to embrace.

Marcus Semien of the Blue Jays celebrates his home run with George Springer in the first inning. VAUGHN RIDLEY / GETTY IMAGES

“It’s exciting, enjoy it and honestly, whatever happens,” Springer said. “Obviously the goal is to win and get as far as possible, but (also) to understand that this is the type of baseball we want to play as a team at the end of the season. “

The 2017 World Series MVP said he saw no sign of negative energy from his teammates but rather a thrill at the challenge of beating a proven team like the Yankees with so much at stake.

“Every time you get the butterflies, I think it’s the excitement,” Springer said. “In my opinion, if you are not nervous, it means that you are not prepared. I don’t think that’s the case at all with these guys.

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“The more you cross it, the better off you will be. This is the first full season for the majority of this list.

The Jays will have to regroup for Thursday’s final of the three-game series, one of four remaining. Lefty Robby Ray will be on the mound for the rubber match and is hoping for a potential exclamation point on his pursuit of the AL Cy Young award.

“It’s amazing, a ball game like this,” said Berrios, who struck out the first 14 batters he faced before giving Gleyber Torres a brace in the fifth inning. “That’s why I love this game. (The crowd) gave me a taste of a playoff game.

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And for Bichette and the rest of her teammates, a thirst to get there.

“These are the greatest moments of my life so far,” said Bichette. “I hope there will be many bigger ones in the future. “

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AROUND THE BASES

The offensive superlatives were plentiful as Bichette and Semien hit 100 RBIs, making the Jays the first team in MLB history to have four players reaching the milestone of the century in the same season. “To do that, you have to play every day,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “And that’s what they do, they’re ready to play every day. »… With his two circuits, Bichette has 28 on the season, surpassing Tony Batista (26 in 1999) for the greatest number in the history of the club by a shortstop. It was his third multi-home game of the season… Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s fifth-inning RBI double ended a 0-for-20 drought throughout his career. It was his first RBI since September 19.

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