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

Amiri is currently working as a parliamentary intern. (Christian Diotte - Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman earns scholarship to study law in Montreal

Somaya Amiri, 23, awarded McCall MacBain scholarship at McGill University

Bat Packs are the newest addition to the FVRL Playground, and have everything you need to learn more about bats, and track them in your neighbourhood. (FVRL image)
Bat Packs at Fraser Valley libraries come with echometer to track bats

Packs are the newest part of the FVRL Playground inventory

Online guide expected to make applying for building permits easier. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge launches new building permit application tool

Users can print or save their results for easy access

Dogs big and small on the patio at Witchcraft Beer Market and Bistro. (City of Maple Ridge/Youtube)
VIDEO: Maple Ridge businesses embrace new dog friendly pilot project

Pets can come onto a patio at a restaurant or enter participating retail spaces

A photo submitted to municipal staff on April 6 showing a beaver dam southwest of Chester Street. The drainage issues on the south side of the highway are the responsibility of CP Rail, as they own the property. Photo courtesy of the District of Mission.
Delegation of Silverdale farmers say land continually floods along Lougheed Highway

Beaver dams, siltation, fallen trees, bad ditching is sinking crops next to recently widened highway

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
UPDATE: 1 of 3 puppies stolen from South Surrey returned to owner

American Bulldog puppy recovered after being sold at Mission car show

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Everett Cummings in a tribute video posted to dignitymemorial.com.
Mechanic’s death at Fraser Surrey Docks leads to $200K fine for company, union says

Photos of rally outside Surrey court posted on ILWU’s ‘Kill A Worker Go To Jail’ Facebook page

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

Most Read