TORONTO — Once again, Joe Girardi’s pregame meeting with the media revolved around one topic: His club’s feeble offense.
“It’s important we get the bats going,” he said. “It’s hard to win 2-1 every night.”
The Yankees did not even make it to two runs last night and they most certainly did not win, falling, 4-1, to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
“We’ve got to find a way,” Chase Headley said. “It’s definitely not our pitchers’ fault. As an offense we have to step up and score some runs.”
The offense managed six hits — one more than in Monday’s 4-2 loss — wasting a terrific outing by CC Sabathia, who also was betrayed by his bullpen.
Surprisingly, the culprit was Dellin Betances. He entered with a runner on second and none out in the seventh, only to allow two hits and three runs, one of which was charged to Sabathia (3-4).
“I have to make a better pitch and not put Dellin in a bad spot,” said Sabathia, who allowed a one-out double to Edwin Encarnacion on a 3-and-1 fastball.
The lefthander, who was 2-1 with a 0.45 ERA in his previous three starts, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings as the Yankees (24-27) lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Blue Jays lefthander J.A. Happ entered 6-2 with a 3.20 ERA, including 2-0, 1.38 in two starts against the Yankees. He got a no-decision, allowing one run and four hits in six innings. Happ limited the Yankees to 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position (they finished 1-for-8).
“The bottom line is the guys in the room have to get it done,” Girardi said. “We can try different things, but we need to get going.”
Sabathia, who induced three double plays to limit damage, did not look pleased when he handed the ball to Girardi in the seventh. His mood likely didn’t improve once in the dugout.
Girardi called on Betances with Justin Smoak, who homered in the fourth, coming up.
Betances, with 46 strikeouts in 23 1⁄3 innings coming in, struck out Smoak and was fortunate when Russell Martin sat on a curveball and hammered it, but right at Aaron Hicks on the warning track in left. But after walking Devon Travis on four pitches, Kevin Pillar sliced an 0-and-1 fastball to right. Rob Refsnyder, starting for Carlos Beltran, the DH, charged and fielded the ball cleanly but his throw home was off line as Encar nacion slid across to make it 2-1.
Darwin Barney hit a two-run single to right — Refsnyder again made a poor throw home — to make it 4-1.
“I’m not mad at the walk,” Betances said. “I’m mad at the ball middle up to Pillar.”
“It’s always surprising when these guys give up runs,” Sabathia said, a reference to Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. “These guys are the best in the league. Nine times out of 10 they’re going to be there to help us.”
Joe Biagini (3-1) got the win with help from Jesse Chavez and Roberto Osuna, who pitched a scoreless ninth for the Blue Jays (28-26) to record his 12th save.
In the second, Headley led off with a double and Austin Romine had an infield hit. Hicks beat out a potential double-play grounder to second with one out, the 4-6 forceout scoring Headley to make it 1-0.
That, as has been the case so often this season, would be all.
“It’s been a struggle for most of the year,” Girardi said. “I still think these guys can get it done. I believe their track record says it should change. But the last few days it hasn’t.”