Aaron Judge hit a pair of two-run homers as the visiting New York Yankees rolled past the Blue Jays 6-0 on Wednesday, forcing Toronto to wait at least another day to clinch a playoff spot.
Giancarlo Stanton’s two-run single in the fifth inning also helped New York (81-77) win its third consecutive.
Gerrit Cole (15-4) put the finishing touches on his Cy Young Award resumé with a commanding two-hit complete game shutout. He didn’t give up a run or a walk in his last start of the season.
Jose Berrios (11-12) struck out 10, but permitted four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings.
Relievers Trevor Richards, Genesis Cabrera, and Jay Jackson followed Berrios to the mound as Toronto (87-71) missed another opportunity to close in on a playoff berth.
The Blue Jays hold the American League’s second wild card spot, with only the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in position to catch them.
The loss left Toronto a game ahead of the Astros in the wild-card race and 1 1/2 ahead of Seattle. The Mariners hosted Houston later Wednesday.
Cole is the odds-on favourite to win the Cy Young as the American League’s best pitcher, according to most major online sportsbooks.
He concluded his season with an AL-best 2.63 earned-run average, 209 innings pitched, 222 strikeouts, and league-leading 24 quality starts.
Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman has the fourth-best odds of winning the Cy Young, behind Seattle’s Luis Castillo and Minnesota’s Sonny Gray.
Although Cole is a Cy Young candidate, Berrios was also dealing in the early innings Wednesday. He earned three strikeouts on 12 pitches in the second, including ringing up Anthony Volpe on just three pitches.
Berrios walked DJ LeMahieu to allow his first baserunner of the game to lead off the fourth inning.
Judge immediately capitalized, crushing the first pitch he saw in the next at bat.
Judge’s 36th homer of the year flew 395 feet with an exit velocity of 112.3 m.p.h., landing in the visitors’ bullpen.