BUFFALO – The Yankees quieted the noise surrounding them in the most effective way they could: winning a game.
Taking advantage of the worst bullpen in the majors Tuesday night, the Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit after four innings to post a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays, snapping a three-game losing streak in front of 7,145 at Sahlen Field.
The Yankees (34-32), losers of 13 of 18 coming in, got a go-ahead pinch-hit single with one out in the eighth from Clint Frazier to take a 6-5 lead.
Zack Britton, just activated from the injured list over the weekend, loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half but got Bo Bichette to fly softly to right. Aroldis Chapman, coming off a rough week, nailed down the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.
The Blue Jays (33-32) led 5-2 after four but saw the Yankees claw back, getting an RBI groundout from Miguel Andujar in the sixth to make it 5-3, pulling within 5-4 on Brett Gardner’s homer leading off the seventh and tying it later in the inning when DJ LeMahieu came home on a wild pitch.
"I think the most important thing we've done as a team is just stick together, because inside that clubhouse, everyone that is in there, that's what matters," Frazier said.
Still, the day’s headline was the presence here of GM Brian Cashman, who addressed the media beforehand about his foundering club.
Among the bullet points of interest: asked directly about Aaron Boone’s job security, Cashman didn’t offer what anyone objectively would categorize as a ringing endorsement.
But Cashman also made clear that, being true to his tenure as GM, which started in 1998, there won’t be any in-season changes coming, either.
"I think losing invites the scrutiny on us all, and I’d best answer that (by saying) we're in this together," Cashman said, asked if he had "100% confidence" Boone was the right manager to lead the Yankees out of their current travails. "We made this bed, and we're gonna sleep in it. And we're gonna make sure that we find a way to fix this together."
Of in-season changes, including to the coaching staff, Cashman said: "That's not something I believe in, and it doesn't mean I'm not willing to make changes if I felt they were warranted. But I don't feel they're warranted…(This is) the same coaching staff and same manager that's had a lot of success here. So we are charged with finding a way to fix what's ailing us. And the ultimate responsibility on that is me. I've told our personnel that I don't intend to let us fail…we’ve got really good coaches that know what they’re doing, I think we have a really good manager that knows what he’s doing."
Which isn’t to say Cashman is satisfied, obviously.
"There's been some sleepless nights," Cashman said. "We need to get on that winning track and get our numbers where they belong in that win column, and become relevant again, because right now, we have not been the relevant powerhouse in the American League. We've been everything but."
Cashman said he intends to be in "buying mode" before ethe July 30 trade deadline, particularly when it comes to centerfield, where Gardner, 37, is being all but run into the ground.
But will Cashman, if the right deal came along, be given permission to surpass the luxury tax ($210 million in 2021)?
Indications remain managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, on the hook for a payroll that’s currently in the range of $207 million, isn’t currently inclined to go over the luxury tax, but he wasn’t at first inclined to lay out $324-million two winters ago for Gerrit Cole until he was. Circumstances can and do change.
"The ownership here has poured great resources into this roster already, they're not getting what they deserve with what they're paying for this roster so far," Cashman said. "But, ultimately, I'll bring to Hal Steinbrenner and his family all recommendations that include…we’re going to have opportunities that present themselves that are money related and ultimately decisions will be made then."