TORONTO - The Yankees' recent hot streak hasn't been difficult to figure out.
"You look at the stretch we've been in, we've gotten pitching up and down, all 12 guys," said Joe Girardi, whose club entered Monday having won 13 of 16. "Our pitching has been really good."
It was again Monday night, but not quite good enough.
In truth, though, the majority of the blame for the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre fell on an unproductive offense and a spectacular play that suddenly wasn't by third baseman Chase Headley.
"Our pitchers pitched their butts off," said first baseman Garrett Jones, whose failure to come up with the scoop on Headley's one-hop throw with two outs in the eighth inning resulted in two runs that snapped a 1-1 tie. "It [stinks] giving them two runs on a great play. It's a pick I should make."
Chase Whitley, Masahiro Tanaka's replacement in the rotation, allowed six hits and no walks with six strikeouts in seven shutout innings. He lowered his ERA to 0.75 and departed with a 1-0 lead.
"I'll take my chances with our bullpen every day of the week," Whitley said.
With Andrew Miller unavailable after throwing 32 pitches Sunday night in Boston, Girardi called on Chris Martin for the eighth. He retired Devon Travis but Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista singled, and Girardi called on Dellin Betances for a five-out save.
Swinging at a first-pitch curveball, Edwin Encarnacion blooped a double down the leftfield line to tie it at 1-1 and put runners at second and third.
"Normally, [against] Betances, it's tough to make contact off him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Things fell in place that inning."
Betances struck out Kevin Pillar but pinch hitter Russell Martin ripped a full-count curveball down the third-base line. Headley made a terrific diving stop to his right, but Jones -- filling in for Mark Teixeira, who had the night off -- couldn't scoop the throw. Not only did Bautista score on the infield hit but the ball trickled away far enough for Encarnacion to score and make it 3-1. Headley's league-high seventh error made the final run unearned.
"It's a do-or-die play," Headley said. "Almost got him. In the moment, you go from extremely fired up to dejected a little bit."
Said Girardi: "A tough play all around."
The Yankees had been 12-0 when leading after seven innings this season.
"I like my chances coming in there," Betances said. "Chase pitched a hell of a game and I want to go out there and do my best to save that game. Unfortunately, I didn't get the job done today, but I feel like I couldn't do anything different. They just found holes."
Lefthander Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey (1-3) brought a 5.23 ERA into the night but hardly resembled that pitcher, allowing one run and three hits in eight innings.
Whitley and Dickey matched zeros for six innings before the Yankees (16-10) broke through in the seventh.
Carlos Beltran, who began the night hitting .197 but went 4-for-8 during the weekend in Boston, led off with a double over the head of rightfielder Ezequiel Carrera. With runners on first and third and one out, Jones smoked a grounder that bounced off first baseman Encarnacion's glove, and although the Blue Jays recorded a 3-4-3 out, the Yankees took a 1-0 lead.