Boone boils over after scuffling Yanks lose again

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole twice banged on the dugout roof, shouting in frustration and getting booed as scuffling New York lost…


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NEW YORK — Yankees ace Gerrit Cole twice banged on the dugout roof, shouting in frustration and getting booed as scuffling New York lost for the 15th time in 19 games, beaten by the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Saturday.

The AL East-leading Yankees fell to 9-20 since entering the All-Star break with a 64-28 record. After holding a 15½-game bulge July 8, their margin over second-place Toronto is down to seven games.

New York manager Aaron Boone, who showed some frustration after the Friday loss in his postgame news conference, took it to another level Saturday when assessing where his team is.

“We have to play better. Period,” he said, pounding the table that housed his microphone. “And the great thing is, it’s right in front of us. It’s right here, and we can fix it.”

The Yankees have lost six straight series for the first time since 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Toronto will try for a four-game sweep Sunday.

“We’re not happy about it,” Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said. “If you lose one game, or if you lose 10 games, you’re not happy at all. But if we sit here and stay frustrated about one game, it’s going to lead into the next game.

“So, it’s about us picking ourselves up, and not forgetting we’re the New York Yankees. And we have to go out there and show people that.”

Cole (9-6) hadn’t allowed a hit before the Blue Jays scored four times in the fifth. After he issued a walk and misplayed a grounder, Alejandro Kirk capped the burst with a two-run double that left fielder Andrew Benintendi couldn’t quite catch.

“Look, we just have to play crisp,” Cole said. “We started out so well.”

When the inning ended, fans booed Cole and television cameras picked up the right-hander yelling and punching the bottom of the dugout roof with both hands.

The reaction from portions of the crowd of 45,538 were similar to Cole with boos increasing after Toronto went ahead and intensifying after the final out.

“It’s there and we can run away from this thing,” Boone said. “And we got the dudes in there to do it. But we have to do it. If we don’t score, it’s tough to win.”

Jackie Bradley hit a two-run, go-ahead double down the left-field line, the ball bouncing off the wall and past Benintendi when he tried to field the carom. Bradley delivered after Santiago Espinal got Toronto’s first hit, a double two pitches after missing on a close two-strike pitch.

Raimel Tapia reached on an infield hit by beating shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa‘s throw and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got on base when Cole slightly slipped in front of the mound fielding the ball. Cole’s misstep allowed Guerrero to beat the throw and the original call was overturned when Toronto challenged.

Kirk then gave the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead when he lined a double to left-center. Benintendi, playing slightly in, raced back, attempted a diving catch and the ball eluded his glove before center fielder Estevan Florial fielded it and threw out Guerrero to prevent a third run from scoring.

Matt Chapman added a solo homer in the ninth as the Blue Jays won their fourth straight. Toronto is 13-6 in the Bronx since the start of last season.

Florial hit an RBI single in the second and Gleyber Torres homered in the eighth as the Yankees got nine hits but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. New York has managed just 21 runs in its past 11 games.

“The good thing is we are in first place,” Boone said. “We get to write the script the rest of the way. No one else can get in our way if we go play our game.”

Before allowing four runs, Cole allowed two baserunners through the first four and was aided by defensive plays from Judge in right and rookie third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera.

Judge made a running catch to prevent a double by Bo Bichette in the second with his left shoulder crashing into the fence. Cabrera dove face first into the tarp in foul territory to snag Bradley’s popup and completed the play after his head hit the padding along the side wall.

Toronto starter Mitch White allowed one run and seven hits in four innings. Adam Cimber (9-4) was awarded the win and Yimi Garcia got his first save.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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