Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) celebrates with Blue Jays Teoscar Hernandez after Hernandez hit a game-tying solo home run off New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole during the sixth inning of a major league baseball game on opening day at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, April 1, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) celebrates with Blue Jays Teoscar Hernandez after Hernandez hit a game-tying solo home run off New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole during the sixth inning of a major league baseball game on opening day at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, April 1, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Play ball! Blue Jays beat Yankees 3-2 in 10 innings in 2021 MLB opener

Grichuk rips RBI double to lead Toronto past New York

Randal Grichuk led off the 10th with an RBI double, and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of the second year of starting extra innings with a runner on second to beat the host New York Yankees 3-2 Thursday in the major league opener.

Fans returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2019. Capacity was limited to 20% because of coronavirus protocols, and the attendance was announced as 10,850.

Jordan Romano (1-0) escaped trouble in the ninth with the help of third baseman Cavan Biggio. After pinch-runner Michael Tauchman stole two bases, he was thrown out at the plate by Biggio trying to score on a grounder by AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu. Romano then struck out Aaron Judge to strand two runners.

Nick Nelson (0-1) relieved to begin the 10th and with pinch-runner Jonathan Davis on second, Grichuk lined his second pitch over Judge in right.

Julian Merryweather struck out Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres on 11 pitches for the save.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a tying homer in the sixth off Gerrit Cole as Toronto improved to 23-22 in openers.

New York lost for the first time in four openers under manager Aaron Boone. The Yankees had not played an extra-inning opener since 1987.

Fans were at Yankee Stadium for the first time in 532 days since the loss to Houston in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series on Oct, 18, 2019. They had to show proof of complete vaccination at least two weeks earlier of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Masks were required and groups of fans separated by empty seats into pods.

On an afternoon with a game time temperature of 43 degrees, some fans entered the stadium with navy Yankees blankets that were still wrapped in plastic. Some wore jerseys with famous retired numbers such as 5 (Joe DiMaggio) and 8 (Yogi Berra). Many stopped by the concession stands there were no vendors in the aisles.

Players lined up on the baselines for the traditional introductions that were dispensed with during the pandemic-shortened season, the Yankees in their pinstripes, the Blue Jays in powder blue.

There was no traditional bunting or opening day logos, and the nationals anthems were played on video.

A reduced group of Bleacher Creatures shouted the Roll Call from the right-field seats in the top of the first, and first baseman Jay Bruce raised his right arm in a spirited response. Cole turned to the bleachers to survey the scene when Biggio’s foul ball provided a momentary break.

READ MORE: Welcome back, fans! MLB openers bring stars, hope and crowds

The pitcher’s parents, Mark and Sharon Cole, planned to be in the stands for their first chance to watch him pitch at Yankee Stadium along with sister Sharon Cole and mother-in-law Lynn Crawford, the mother of San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford. Lynn Crawford was going to see grandchild Caden Cole, born last June 30.

Cole, starting the second season of his $324 million, nine-year deal, allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two starts. He fell behind on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.`s RBI single in the second and allowed Hernandez’s 437-foot home run in the sixth.

Toronto’s Hyun Jin Ryu gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, and David Phelps escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by getting Judge to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Gary Sanchez hit a two-run homer in the second. Sanchez didn’t homer until his 10th game last year, part of a miserable season in which he hit a career-worst .147 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 156 at-bats.

ROAD WARRIORS

After playing home games last year at the field of their Triple-A team in Buffalo, due to Canadian government coronavirus restrictions, the Blue Jays have shifted their first three homestands this season to their spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Florida.

TOGETHER AGAIN

Before opening day, Judge and Stanton started together just 87 times in three years: 65 in 2018, seven in 2019 and 15 last year.

SITTING OUT

Aroldis Chapman was suspended for the first two games by Major League Baseball for throwing a 101 mph fastball near the head of Tampa Bay’s Mike Brosseau on Sept. 1, and Zack Britton is recovering from March 15 surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow.

MOVING ACROSS THE DIAMOND

Marcus Semien, making his Blue Jays’ debut, made a diving stop in his first game at second base since Sept. 26, 2014, and threw out LeMahieu for the final out of the fifth with two on.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees 1B Luke Voit used a cane during the introductions following knee surgery Monday.

UP NEXT

RHP Corey Kluber, a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner limited to one inning during the last two seasons due to injuries, makes his Yankees debut Saturday. RHP Ross Stripling starts for the Blue Jays.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Blue JaysMLBToronto

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gulls Stadium is still under construction, and much of the season is still an unknown, especially the duration. (Photo Courtesy of TD Aerials - Central Alberta)
Sylvan Lake Gulls expecting huge financial impact

The Gulls inagural season is going to be impacted by the pandemic, and changes to the

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

File Photo
FCC report shows opportunity in changing food and beverage trends

Canada’s food and beverage sector may emerge even stronger in 2021

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read