TORONTO — And on the fourth day . . . the Yankees finally scored a run.
Three of them in fact, including two in a surprising ninth-inning outburst that gave them a one-run lead.
It wasn’t enough.
The Blue Jays won anyway, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth against suddenly struggling back-end bullpen pieces Dellin Betances and Tyler Clippard to hand the Yankees a 4-3 loss on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd of 47,896 at Rogers Centre.
The Yankees (79-76), shut out the previous three games, dropped their fourth straight. They fell to 2-8 on this 11-game trip, which started with a four-game sweep in Boston. Luis Severino, tabbed to start Monday, will try to keep the Yankees from bookending the trip with four-game sweeps.
“It [stinks],” Betances said. “That’s what you play for, to be in this position, and we haven’t played our best the last week or so.”
Betances, making his team-high 71st appearance, came on in the eighth with the score tied at 1. He walked leadoff man Josh Donaldson, who stole second, making baserunners 20-for-20 in stolen-base attempts against him this season.
“It’s an issue,” Joe Girardi said of Betances’ difficulties holding runners.
With one out and Donaldson at third, Jose Bautista lined a full-count curveball to center for an RBI single, giving the Blue Jays (86-69) a 2-1 lead and making it four of his last seven outings in which Betances has allowed a run.
“He’ll bounce back,” Girardi said. “I’m not concerned about Dellin.”
After the Yankees scored two in the ninth against Toronto closer Roberto Osuna on an RBI single by Mason Williams and a sacrifice fly by Ronald Torreyes, Betances came out for a second inning.
He walked leadoff man Melvin Upton Jr., and Girardi made the move to Clippard.
The righthander got ahead of Kevin Pillar 0-and-2 — Pillar fouled off two bunt attempts — before the centerfielder banged a single to right, putting runners on first and third. Ezequiel Carrera, the No. 9 hitter, then laid down a perfect bunt to the left side of the mound. Clippard, with his glove, tried to shovel the ball to catcher Gary Sanchez, and the ball skittered past as Upton slid across with tying run and the runners went to second and third.
“I felt, in my peripheral, that I had a shot at him ,” said Clippard, who was charged with a throwing error. “In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t flipped it because wasn’t in a position to even have a chance to tag him . . . I wasn’t expecting him to bunt right there at all.”
Clippard struck out Devon Travis and Girardi intentionally walked Donaldson to face Edwin Encarnacion. The first baseman, who has tormented the Yankees over the years, grounded one to the hole at second that Torreyes made a diving stop on, but Pillar scored easily on the infield hit to win it.
The Yankees ran their scoreless innings streak to 33 before Didi Gregorius led off the seventh against Marco Estrada with his 19th homer, a solo shot that tied it at 1.
Bautista, who hit a three-run homer in the eighth Saturday off Clippard to lift the Blue Jays to a 3-0 victory, hit his 21st homer, off Michael Pineda in the fourth inning, to make it 1-0.
Girardi complained afterward about Betances not getting a call on a check swing against Bautista before the veteran’s RBI single in the eighth, and again about a borderline full-count pitch on Upton’s walk in the ninth.
Betances agreed but blamed himself more than the umpires.
“I can’t put the leadoff guy on,” Betances said. “And I did in both innings and both of those runs scored.”