By Mike Harrington
TORONTO -- It's just about over for the Bisons, whose tragic number fell to 2 in the International League wild-card race with Wednesday's 5-2 loss to Rochester in Coca-Cola Field. One reason the Herd has slogged to the finish is because the guts of its lineup is in the Rogers Centre.
Bad news in Buffalo but good news organization-wide as the ex-Bisons made big contributions the last three days as the Blue Jays took two of three games from the Yankees.
Second baseman Ryan Goins continued his red-hot work at the plate with two more hits, but the key play in Wednesday's 7-2 romp past the Yankees was his relay throw to the plate in the fourth to nail Alex Rodriguez at home.
Mark Reynolds' laser to right barely missed clearing the wall for a three-run homer that would have cut what was a 7-0 deficit to 7-4, and the ball ricocheted past Moises Sierra in right. Anthony Gose alertly backed it up and fired a strike to Goins (hitting cutoff men has been a rarity in these parts this season). Goins, in short right field, fired home to catcher J.P. Arencibia to nail a chugging A-Rod.
Why the Yankees sent him in that spot is anybody's guess. Joe Girardi said he had no problem with it but that was just covering for A-Rod and the over-aggressiveness of third-base coach Rob Thomson.
"I was a little surprised [the Yankees sent A-Rod] but Gose did a great job backing up the play off the wall with Mo going to the wall," Goins said. "Gose was right there, hit me with a perfect throw and I got it to JP."
Todd Redmond retired Ichiro Suzuki on a groundball to get out of that inning and the Yankees managed just one hit in the final five innings -- never getting a runner past first base.
In addition to his relay, Gose made a tumbling catch of a Chris Stewart looper in the fifth. Manager John Gibbons was impressed with how alert Gose was on the A-Rod play.
"He got there backing up. That's part of your job but you don't see it all the time," Gibbons said. "He can flat-out play center field with anybody. He's like anybody else. He was here last year but he's still feeling his way around trying to establish himself."
Goins doubled and scored in the first, and singled and scored in the second. He's hit safely in all six of his MLB games and has four multi-hit outings while batting .455. Not bad for a guy who had batted just a combined .218 in July and August in Buffalo.
"He's playing great in all areas," Gibbons said. "Name it. Defense, offense. He's in tune with things. He doesn't look in awe here."
The Blue Jays were 1-12 against the Yankees this year and maybe the law of averages finally kicked in.
"Two out of three baby," said a smiling Gibbons. "As a matter of fact, two of three from the Red Sox, two out of three from the Yankees the last two home series. Don't forget to write that. The hell with what happened in between."
Of course, what happened in between was a 2-8 road trip to Tampa Bay, New York and Houston that had speculation about Gibbons' job mushrooming until GM Alex Anthopoulos announced Tuesday the skipper was going nowhere next year.
Updating key former Bisons in Toronto:
Ryan Goins .455-0-1
Anthony Gose .259-0-2
Moises Sierra. .250-0-2
Kevin Pillar .171-1-6
Josh Thole .141-1-6
Todd Redmond 2-2, 4.30
Neil Wagner 2-4, 3.13
taggedBisons/Blue Jays | Yankees