TORONTO (AP) — The hitters did better, but defensive miscues ensured a fourth straight defeat for the struggling New York Yankees.
Jose Reyes atoned for a pair of misplays by hitting a leadoff double in the ninth inning and scoring when Yankees third baseman Yangervis Solarte threw away a bunt, lifting AL East-leading Toronto to a 7-5 win Tuesday night.
Solarte’s errant throw was the only New York error, but reliable shortstop Derek Jeter made two costly mistakes. Toronto made three errors, two by Reyes.
“It was sloppy on both sides,” New York first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “That was an ugly game to watch. If you’re a fan, you should get your money back.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn’t promising refunds, but acknowledged that his team’s defense had been a problem again.
“That hurts us and at times it’s hurt us during the course of the season,” Girardi said. “It’s something that we clearly need to do a better job of.”
The Yankees trailed 6-0 before tying it, then lost their fourth in a row.
“It’s an extremely tough loss because we put ourselves in a bad position early on,” Girardi said.
Reyes doubled off Adam Warren (1-4) into the right-field corner. Melky Cabrera followed with a sacrifice bunt, and Warren and Solarte seemed to hesitate over who would field it.
Solarte picked up the ball and threw it past second baseman Brian Roberts covering at first. The ball sailed into foul territory down the right-field line and Reyes trotted home.
“Difficult,” Solarte said of the decisive bunt. “Tough play.”
Casey Janssen (2-0) worked one inning for the victory.
New York came in having scored just four runs in its previous three defeats and fell behind 6-0 before Jeter homered in the sixth. The Yankees tied it with a five-run, 10-batter seventh.
Reyes made two errors, including a wild throw that let the Yankees make it 6-all.
With runners at second and third and two outs in the seventh, Mark Teixeira hit a grounder to Reyes, who was shifted to the second base side. The shortstop bounced his throw past first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
Teixeira’s elbow appeared to strike the back of Encarnacion’s head in a collision at the bag. Encarnacion went down the ground and stayed there for a moment while a trainer tended to him. Encarnacion remained in the game.
“There was really nothing I could do,” Teixeira said. “Luckily he didn’t get hurt too bad. Hopefully he’s OK.”
Dioner Navarro put the Blue Jays in front with a three-run homer into the second deck in the fourth, and Toronto capitalized on a pair of defensive lapses by Jeter to double its lead in the fifth.
Munenori Kawasaki and Reyes both singled to begin the inning and two outs later, Encarnacion was safe on a fielder’s choice when Jeter triple-clutched, looking at both second and third before throwing late to first.
“(Encarnacion) is out if (Jeter) just goes to first,” Girardi said, while Jeter said he made “the wrong decision.”
Colby Rasmus followed with a two-run double off the wall in right, and Encarnacion came home while Jeter vainly chased Rasmus back to first in a botched rundown.
“When you have a guy on third base you really don’t have much time to be throwing it back and forth because the guy is creeping,” Jeter said. “I made the decision to go after him and he beat me back to the bag.”
Jeter led off the sixth with his second home run and first since May 7.
Roberts made it 6-3 with a two-run homer in the seventh, and Mark Buehrle left two batters later after a bloop double by Brett Gardner.
Buehrle allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked none and struck out three.
Toronto loaded the bases with one out against Dellin Betances in the eighth, but couldn’t score. Encarnacion was forced at home on a grounder by Anthony Gose and Kawasaki struck out on three pitches.
New York’s David Phelps allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.
NOTES: Yankees LH CC Sabathia (right knee) threw 34 pitches in a two-inning simulated game at New York’s spring facility in Tampa. Sabathia will throw 45 pitches in a start at Class A on Saturday. … New York RHP Hiroki Kuroda (4-5) faces Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchison (5-5) in Wednesday night’s series finale.