TORONTO — Sean Reid-Foley is trying to prove he deserves to stay with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The right-hander's performance against the New York Yankees on Friday could help his cause.
The Blue Jays starter threw five innings of one-run, five-hit ball and struck out five batters as Toronto beat the Yankees 8-2, tying the four-game series at 1-1.
"I'm just trying to figure out a way to stay here," said Reid-Foley, who has bounced between Toronto and triple-A Buffalo this year. "I know that may sound a little weird, but the opportunities are here."
Reid-Foley (2-2) walked two batters 64 of his 95 pitches were strikes, a ratio that impressed his manager.
"He's got the stuff to pitch in the big leagues," Charlie Montoyo said. "The problem is sometimes he gets wild and walks people, but today he threw strikes."
The Blue Jays have struggled with pitching all season. They traded their ace, Marcus Stroman, to the New York Mets two weeks ago. Starter Aaron Sanchez and reliever Joe Biagini were both traded to the Houston Astros on July 31.
Those moves have left large vacancies that players like Reid-Foley are hoping to fill.
"He's definitely got more composed over the years," Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen said of Reid-Foley. "He's a fierce competitor, but he's staying really composed and worrying about the next pitch."
Teoscar Hernandez hit two home runs for the sixth multi-homer game of his career. Randal Grichuk and Jansen also hit home runs for the Blue Jays (48-72).
The Yankees (76-40) had their season-high winning streak snapped at nine games.
Former Blue Jay J.A. Happ (9-7) struggled with his control on the mound for the Yankees. He allowed six runs on four hits, walked three batters and allowed three home runs.
Grichuk opened the scoring in the first inning when he sent a 1-1 fastball from Happ over the left-field wall for a two-run homer, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
The Jays added to their lead in the second inning. Hernandez hit his first homer of the game, a full-count solo shot for a 3-0 lead.
In the third, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was ejected from the game after arguing balls and strikes from the dugout during Cameron Maybin's at-bat.
"I didn't even open my mouth, which is unusual for me," Gardner said.
After he was tossed, Gardner had to be restrained by Yankees manager Aaron Boone as he made his way to umpire Chris Segal.
"He just wanted to assume or wanted to take a guess and he was wrong," Gardner added. "And then he lied to me about it which was a huge problem, and that's what made me a little upset."
On the next at-bat, Mike Tauchman hit a solo homer to cut Toronto's lead to 3-1.
In the bottom half of the third, Toronto kept its inning alive when Brandon Drury was nearly out while trying to go to third base on a wild pitch.
That mistake would have ended the threat, but Toronto challenged the umpire's ruling that Drury was out. The call was overturned and the inning continued. Jansen was the benefactor as he hit a three-run homer over the centre-field wall to give Toronto a 6-1 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Yankees loaded the bases with two out. Didi Gregorius hit a hard liner up the middle, but Bo Bichette made a sprawling catch to end the inning and save what would have at least two runs for New York.
"That was probably the play of the game," Montoyo said.
In the seventh inning, Mike Ford hit a solo homer off Blue Jays reliever Tim Mayza, cutting Toronto's lead to 6-2.
In the eighth inning, Hernandez hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot, to give the Blue Jays an 8-2 lead.
Notes: Bichette went 0-for-4 and had his franchise-record 11-game hitting streak to start a big-league career come to an end. ... Starting pitcher Ryan Borucki's season is officially over. He underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow. ... Before the game, Montoyo said that Lourdes Gurriel Jr., would be placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday with a quad strain. Gurriel was injured in the ninth inning of Toronto's 12-6 loss to the Yankees while running to first base on Thursday. ... Announced attendance was 25,782 on Friday.
David Alter, The Canadian Press