Jose Bautista had two hits, drove in one run and scored another to help lift the Blue Jays to a 9-5 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday in what was likely his final home game in a Toronto uniform.
Bautista, a six-time all-star and two-time silver slugger, was met by a loud ovation each time he stepped to the plate. He brought back Usher’s “OMG” as his walk-up music — the song he used during his 54-homer 2010 season.
“A lot of good emotions,” a teary-eyed Bautista said. “It’s good to be recognized and it’s good to feel the love. I appreciate everything that happened today.”
Bautista walked in the third and scored on a three-run double from Russell Martin, then drove in Teoscar Hernandez with a bases-loaded single in Toronto’s four-run fourth inning. He nearly scored later in the frame but was tagged out at home plate.
The Blue Jays challenged the call, which was upheld after a video review. Bautista singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the first inning, flied out to right in the sixth, and hit a high pop out in the eighth in his final at-bat.
Fans celebrate Bautista
Bautista was replaced by Ezequiel Carrera in right field after Roberto Osuna got the first out of the ninth, hugging each of his teammates as he left the field and waving at the fans as he stepped into the dugout.
The 36-year-old signed a one-year deal with Toronto prior to the 2017 season that includes a mutual option for 2018 that’s unlikely to be picked up.
“He helped rebuild the team, he was the face of the franchise for a number of years, and he did it right way,” manager John Gibbons said of Bautista.
Bautista waved to the crowd of 47,394 when he took his spot in right field before the game. The Blue Jays close out the season with a pair of three-game series in Boston and New York next week.
“We just decided it was probably better if he took the field alone to give him the credit that he deserved,” Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar said. “He’s been a huge part of this franchise for a long time.”
Marcus Stroman (13-8), who was wearing a black Bautista jersey during warmups in the bullpen, allowed three runs, five hits and four walks and struck out two through 5 2/3 innings.
Stroman 3 innings shy of 200