LeMahieu lifts Yankees over Blue Jays after Manoah fires 7 scoreless innings

Gerrit Cole and Alek Manaoh pitched scoreless ball after a chirpy buildup, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Saturday on pinch-hitter DJ LeMahieu’s walkoff bases-loaded single in the ninth inning.

Rookie Anthony Volpe hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Yimi Garcia and pinch-hitter Danny Jansen hit a two-run homer in the ninth against Wandy Peralta after a leadoff walk to Alejandro Kirk. Anthony Rizzo doubled off Jordan Romano (2-1) leading off the bottom half.

Even before the first pitch there was intrigue. Just as Cole was about to start the game, he was forced to wait, crouching behind the mound as Manoah and Kirk slowly walked from the Blue Jays bullpen down the left-field line to the dugout.

Cole allowed four hits in 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks, extending his scoreless streak to 20 2/3 innings and lowering his earned-run average to 0.79.

Manoah gave up two hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk, dropping his ERA from 6.98 to 5.13.

Last Aug. 21, Manoah threw an inside pitch early in the game that went near Yankees star Aaron Judge, then hit Judge on the arm guard above the left elbow. Judge glanced at Manoah as Cole started yelling and a few other Yankees came over the dugout railing. Cole was intercepted by bench coach Carlos Mendoza before reaching the umpires.

“I think if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time,” Manoah said, referring to the advertisement stenciled on the grass between the Yankees dugout and first-base line.

‘Gerrit Cole cheated’

Asked in November on NBA player Serge Ibaka’s YouTube show “How Hungry Are You?” “who is the worst cheater in baseball history, Manaoh responded: “Gerrit Cole. He cheated. He used a lot of sticky stuff to make his pitches better. He kind of got called out on it.”

After Rizzo doubled off the left-field wall, pinch-runner Isiah Kiner-Falafa advanced on Gleyber Torres’s single to shortstop and Willie Calhoun walked before LeMahieu ended the game on a 1-0 slider.

On Friday, Rizzo and Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. exchanged words after Greg Weissert hit Guerrero with a 93 mile-per-hour sinker.

Jimmy Cordero (1-0) got George Springer to hit into an inning-ending double play in the top of the inning.

New York improved to 11-0 this year when facing a series loss.

The Blue Jays were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

The Bleacher Creatures serenaded Blue Jays bench coach Don Mattingly with chants of “Donnie Baseball!” in the first inning and Mattingly saluted the fans in right field. He played his entire 14-year career with the Yankees, serving as captain for his final five seasons.

Springer was met with chants of “You’re a cheater!” as he stood in right field during the fifth inning. Springer was a member of the 2017 Houston Astros, found by Major League Baseball to used electronics to steal signs.

Toronto’ Kevin Gausman (1-2, 3.65 ERA) starts Sunday after giving up eight runs — seven in the first inning — over 4 2/3 innings in a 9-2 loss to Astros. Yankees RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-1, 8.79 ERA) hasn’t pitched more than four innings in any of his first four starts.

Espinal exits after hit by pitch

Blue Jays infielder Santiago Espinal exited in the second inning after he was hit on the right wrist with a Cole fastball.

Per the Blue Jays, Espinal was removed from the game with a right wrist contusion and is undergoing further evaluation.

Cavan Biggio came in to run for Espinal and also took over at second base.

Espinal, 28, is batting just .114 with one homer and four RBI in 13 games this season.

An all-star last season, Espinal is hitting .273 with 10 homers and 78 RBI in 266 career games with the Blue Jays.

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