Late Homer by Blue Jays’ Solarte Sends Yankees to First Loss

Late Homer by Blue Jays’ Solarte Sends Yankees to First Loss

It did not take long for their outfield to get thinner.

Josh Donaldson, the second batter of the game for the Blue Jays, drove a 2-1 pitch from C. C. Sabathia toward the left-center-field wall. McKinney broke well on the ball, reached the warning track and leapt. The ball was out of his reach, and he crashed into the wall, his left shoulder taking the brunt of the impact.

While Judge retrieved the ball and threw it back to the infield, McKinney was on his hands and knees, clearly stunned.

The trainer Steve Donahue, along with Manager Aaron Boone, jogged out to tend to McKinney, who could be seen on TV cameras telling Donahue, “I’m fine.” The trainer then rubbed McKinney’s shoulder.

Twice since last season the Yankees have had outfielders — Jacoby Ellsbury last May and Clint Frazier in an exhibition in February — who slammed into the outfield wall but were not immediately removed from the game.

McKinney, too, remained in the game, at least for another batter.

But when Justin Smoak lined a single to left field, scoring Donaldson, McKinney threw the ball toward the infield and took himself out of the game. Boone sent Brett Gardner out to replace him. McKinney’s injury was diagnosed as a sprain of the acromioclavicular joint at the top of the shoulder; X-rays were negative.

Photo

Kevin Pillar reacted after stealing home in the eighth inning, giving the Blue Jays an insurance run.

Credit
Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

When the Yankees reported to spring training in mid-February, one of their problems was a glut of outfielders. But Frazier sustained a concussion and Ellsbury strained an oblique muscle in spring training, and Aaron Hicks injured a rib cage muscle in the season opener on Thursday.

If McKinney is placed on the disabled list, the Yankees have no other replacements on their 40-man roster until Thursday, when Ellsbury is eligible to come off the disabled list.

The Yankees lost Warren in the sixth, shortly after he came on to replace Sabathia with the score tied at 2-2. After a one-out walk to Pillar, Aledmys Diaz hit a first-pitch fastball that ricocheted off his left ankle to Austin at first base. Austin tagged out Diaz as Pillar advanced to second.

Donahue and Boone once again made their way from the Yankees’ dugout, conferring with Warren, who then exited the field with Donahue. Boone called on Jonathan Holder, whose 1-1 curveball to Luke Maile was laced into left field. Pillar raced home comfortably ahead of Gardner’s throw.

Austin kept the Yankees in the game single-handedly with a pair of booming home runs off Marco Estrada. The first — a two-run blast off the facing of the suites above the second deck in left-center field — tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth. His second, a deep drive down the left-field line, also landed in the second deck and tied the score at 3-3 in the seventh.

But Solarte, who was traded by the Yankees to San Diego in July 2014, for Chase Headley, belted a leadoff homer in the eighth inning to give the Blue Jays a lead they would not surrender.

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