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Yankees post 20 runs in blowout of Blue Jays

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Sept. 16 (UPI) — The New York Yankees extended their winning streak to six games with a 20-6 blowout of the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

First baseman Luke Voit went 3 for 5 with two home runs and five RBIs in the win Tuesday in New York City. The Yankees totaled six homers in the lopsided affair.

“We are clicking at the right time,” Voit told reporters. “It’s right before the playoffs start. We are getting our really good player back [Aaron Judge] soon too.

“We are getting back to being the ‘Bronx Bombers.’ I don’t think people want to play us in the playoffs.”

Yankees second baseman D.J. LeMahieu went 4 for 6 with a home run and five RBIs. Starting pitcher Delvi Garcia allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings to move to 2-1 on the season for the Yankees. Blue Jays starter Taijuan Walker allowed six hits and seven runs in 1 2/3 innings to take his third loss of 2020.

The Yankees (27-21) are now a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays (26-21) for the second playoff spot from the American League East.

Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smashed his seventh home run of the season to give his squad a 1-0 edge in the top of the second inning before the Yankees responded with seven runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton grounded out to start the half-inning. Gio Urshela followed with a double before Clint Frazier reached base on a fielding error.

Brett Gardner then plated Urshela with a single to center field. Walker struck out Gary Sanchez in the next at-bat for the second out of the inning, but the Yankees broke the game open after the punch out.

Tyler Wade ripped an RBI single to right field in the next at-bat. LeMahieu followed with another RBI single to right field. Walker then allowed a three-run homer to Voit. Aaron Hicks followed with a solo shot to right field to give the Yankees a 7-1 lead.

Shun Yamaguchi replaced Walker after the Hicks homer. He struck out Stanton in the next at-bat to end the inning.

Yamaguchi didn’t fare much better in the third frame. The Blue Jays reliever issued three consecutive walks to start the inning. He then hit Sanchez and Wade with pitches in back-to-back at-bats to give the Yankees two more runs.

LeMahieu then ripped a 1-1 Yamaguchi curveball to left field for a three-run double to give the Yankees a 12-1 advantage.

Blue Jays left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth frame to make the score 12-3. The Yankees added four runs in the bottom of the inning courtesy of a Sanchez three-run homer and an RBI single from Voit.

Voit returned to the plate for his second home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. The 389-foot solo shot left the field in four seconds, according to Statcast.

Frazier hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 19-3 lead before LeMahieu added the Yankees final run with a solo shot in the eighth frame.

Joe Panik, Derek Fisher and Bo Bichette each plated runs for the Blue Jays in the top of the ninth inning, but Toronto could not overcome the large deficit.

Urshela went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and a walk for the Yankees. Frazier went 2 for 3 with four runs scored, two walks and two RBIs in the win. Sanchez also plated four runs for the Yankees. Gurriel went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the loss.

Voit is now hitting .280 this season with an MLB-best 18 home runs. The Yankees first baseman also has 42 RBIs in 2020.

The Yankees host the Blue Jays at 7:05 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

This week in Major League Baseball

New York Yankees Giancarlo Stanton breaks a bat with a swing against the Toronto Blue Jays in New York City on Tuesday. The Yankess defeated the Blue Jays 20-6. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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Houston-Baylor, FAU-Georgia Southern games postponed due to COVID-19

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Sept. 18 (UPI) — The Houston-Baylor and Florida Atlantic-Georgia Southern football games scheduled for Saturday have been postponed because of the coronavirus, the schools announced Friday.

Baylor said that one of its position groups didn’t meet the Big 12 Conference COVID-19 thresholds for competition, forcing the game’s cancellation.

Houston and Baylor agreed to honor their home-and-home agreement and will monitor dates for future scheduling opportunities.

“The loss of this game is a devastating blow, but in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, we believe we made the necessary decision,” Baylor athletic director Mack B. Rhoades said in a statement Friday.

“We are incredibly disappointed with the continued delay to the start of our season and empathize with our student-athletes, fans, coaches and administrative staff. We are grateful for the support and understanding of the University of Houston, athletic director Chris Pezman and Chancellor [Renu] Khator. We look forward to a future home-and-home matchup.”

Both schools worked quickly to schedule the game last week after previous postponements. Houston was set to face Memphis on Friday night, but the contest was scrapped due to a rise in positive coronavirus tests at Memphis. Baylor’s initial opener — a Sept. 12 meeting against Louisiana Tech — was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak at Louisiana Tech.

Earlier Friday, FAU’s opener against Georgia Southern was postponed following the results of the Owls’ coronavirus testing Thursday.

An FAU spokesperson told the Sun Sentinel that 18 members of the football program — 12 student-athletes, four staff members and two student-staff members — tested positive for COVID-19 this week.



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U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open

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Sept. 17 (UPI) — Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who won the 2020 U.S. Open last week, announced Thursday night that she will skip this month’s French Open.

Osaka — ranked third in the world — said she decided to withdraw from the upcoming major because of a lingering left hamstring injury and a lack of preparation time on the clay surface.

“Unfortunately I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” Osaka wrote on social media. “My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay — these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best.”

The French Open is set to begin Sept. 27 in Paris after being rescheduled from its traditional spring dates due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Osaka, 22, has never advanced past the third round of the French tournament.

Osaka, who had her hamstring taped throughout the U.S. Open, earned her third major title in New York after a three-set comeback win over Victoria Azarenka.



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Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota Twins to clinch AL playoff spot

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Sept. 17 (UPI) — The Chicago White Sox are back in the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade after earning a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

With the victory, the White Sox clinched their first postseason berth since 2008. It is only the franchise’s second trip to the playoffs since the club won the World Series in 2005.

The White Sox are the first American League team to clinch a spot in the 2020 postseason. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first NL club to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

“Everybody in there is extremely happy,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work over the years. Hopefully, it’s just a first step, and we continue to move forward.”

White Sox slugger Jose Abreu fueled the win with his 17th home run of the season. The homer — which tied the game at one run apiece in the fourth inning — gave Abreu 50 RBIs in the team’s first 50 games this year, making him the first MLB player to reach 50 RBIs in 2020 and the first to do it in 50 contests since the Detroit TigersMiguel Cabrera in 2013.

Abreu tied the game again in the seventh inning when he legged out an infield single to score Jarrod Dyson from third. That sequence set up the winner — a line drive double to left field by Eloy Jimenez to plate pinch runner Yolmer Sanchez.

“For me, that was a really special moment,” Jimenez said. “It’s really fun, you know. At the beginning of the year, I would have been disappointed if we didn’t make the playoffs. Now, we’ve made it, and we have to continue to play hard and win our division.”

“We’re not done,” Renteria said. “This is just one phase of it. Hopefully, we’re continuing to be better.”

This week in Major League Baseball

New York Yankees Luke Voit (L) celebrates with Aaron Hicks after hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in New York City on Thursday. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 10-7. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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