The beat goes on for Toronto’s beleaguered pitching staff.
On Wednesday, Blue Jays starter Nick Tepesch became the sixth pitcher in franchise history to allow three homers in his debut as the Yankees led early and then piled on in an 11-5 victory.
Reliever Leonel Campos was unable to quell the fire after Tepesch gave up back-to-back doubles as the Yankees scored three in the fifth for a 6-2 lead.
After a brief Toronto rally narrowed the gap to one run, New York (60-52) reeled off two runs in the eighth inning and three in the ninth with Jays reliever Taylor Cole, in his major league debut, suffering the worst of it.
“We didn’t have a whole lot down there left,” manager John Gibbons said. “Our bullpen guys are getting abused a little bit. That’s what happens.”
Led by Todd Frazier, the bottom of the New York batting order did most of the damage with hitters No. 6 through No. 9 driving in nine runs on the night.
‘I thought we had a chance’
Frazier, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius all hit early solo home runs off Tepesch (0-2) before 39,554 with the roof open at Rogers Centre. The Yankees have now homered in 17 of their last 19 games.
Toronto answered with single runs in the second and third. And for a while, the Jays (53-60) kept chipping away despite being outhit 17-6.
Jose Bautista hit his 18th homer of the season to open the fifth for Toronto. Then Ryan Goins’ RBI double and Josh Donaldson’s RBI single cut the Yankee lead to 6-5 in the sixth.
“I thought we had a chance to win but they just blew it open there,” said Gibbons.
The Yankees padded the lead in the eighth via Ronald Torreyes’ two-RBI single off Cole, the Jays’ sixth pitcher of the night. The 27-year-old, whose fastball hit 95 m.p.h., gave up a double, single, walk and single after inheriting a runner.
It could have been more but Torreyes was thrown out at home trying to score from second on a single. Cole ended the inning on a high note, striking out giant slugger Aaron Judge.
“I think that’s something I’ll never forget,” he said. “What a great player, especially the year that he’s having. For that to be my first strikeout.
“I’m just glad to be here. A lot of people have sacrificed. It’s just a humbling experience. I wish it had gone better … You keep grinding.”
Cole loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batsmen in the ninth, with three more runs coming in on a…