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

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is helping Saanich police locate a suspect who allegedly stole an iPhone from a building in the 3100-block of Foul Bay Road on April 7. (Image via the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police seek suspect in cell phone theft

White iPhone XR reported stolen from building on Foul Bay Road April 7

This map shows the pharmacies in Greater Victoria offering the AstraZeneca vaccine for people born in 1981 and earlier. As the map shows, no pharmacies on the Saanich Peninsula are offering the vaccine. (B.C. Government map)
No pharmacies on Saanich Peninsula offering AstraZeneca vaccine

People born in 1981 and earlier eligible for AstraZeneca vaccines

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

West Shore RCMP responded to 164 calls for service the last weekend, including numerous violent assaults. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP responds to 164 calls for service over weekend

Calls included numerous bear spray assaults and domestic violence incidents

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read