NEW YORK -- Thanks in large part to two players who were teammates in Triple-A as recently as four days ago, the Yankees took another step toward pushing their way into the postseason conversation.
Behind six scoreless innings from starting pitcher Chad Green and an RBI double from rookie right fielder Aaron Judge, the Yankees held off the Blue Jays, 1-0, at Yankee Stadium. Judge's double gave him an extra-base hit and an RBI for the third straight game to open his career, making him the first player in American League history to achieve such a feat. He's also the first player in Yankees history to record an extra-base hit in each of his first three career games.
"It's still the same game," Judge said about his quick transition to MLB pitching. "You've just got to try to go out there and have fun."
Toronto had a chance in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Yankees closer Dellin Betances got Edwin Encarnacion to ground into a game-ending double play. With the win, the Yankees are still 4 1/2 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, but the division race between Baltimore and Toronto is now tied.
Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey, who allowed one run and four hits in five innings, was Monday's hard-luck loser. The Blue Jays struck out 13 times and only recorded three hits.
"I felt like I pitched pretty well," said Dickey, whose record dropped to 8-13. "The only trouble I got into was a couple of walks really. … I felt as strong as I've ever felt with the ball in my hand, and the last three or four months I feel like I've always been just a click away from turning out really good outings. It was unfortunate tonight that I gave the run, but their guy pitched remarkably well. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other guy. Tonight was one of those nights."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mean Green pitching machine: Monday was Green's best start as a big leaguer, as the rookie struck out a career-high 11 while walking none and allowing just two hits in six innings Thanks in large part to the high strikeout totals, Green's pitch count ballooned to 104 after six innings and he gave way to relief pitcher Tyler Clippard. The only trouble Green -- who opened his outing with 4 1/3 perfect innings -- found himself in came in the fifth when he allowed two one-out hits, but he struck out the next two batters to dispatch the threat. More >
"I think sometimes when you get in those situations you try to overthrow a little bit too much," Green said. "I was just trying to focus on the glove, trust in [catcher] Gary [Sanchez] and just kind of throw it."
Keeping it close: Already trailing by a run, the Blue Jays were in serious danger of letting the Yanks break the game open in the sixth inning. Reliever Joe Biagini loaded the bases with one out but then got Jacoby Ellsbury to hit a little chopper back to the mound. Biagini initially dropped the ball but kept his composure, picked it up and threw home to record the forceout. Biagini got himself out of the jam by getting Chase Headley to strike out swinging.
"It was a great pitching performance by both sides, really," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It's frustrating, it always is for both sides, whoever is on the short end. But we battled."
Worth the RISP: Judge's double might've driven in the only run the Yankees needed, but that doesn't mean it was their only opportunity. The Yankees were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 runners overall, including twice ending innings with the bases loaded.
"I know it was frustrating for our guys, but they kept at it and I felt if we keep putting them on, we're going to break through," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't, but we had some guys who lined out in some tough situations and I thought gave us pretty good at-bats. I'll take it. The pitching staff picked us up tonight."
Missed opportunity: Toronto wasn't able to do much of anything offensively against the Yankees, but the Blue Jays did have one prime opportunity in the fifth. Troy Tulowitzki hit a one-out single for the club's first hit of the night and Darrell Ceciliani then followed with a double to the corner in right field. That put runners on second and third, but Justin Smoak and Melvin Upton Jr. struck out to end the threat. Toronto's second chance came in the ninth before Encarnacion hit into the double play. More >
"I thought it was down the line," said Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole, who led off the ninth with a walk and was lifted for a pinch-runner. "I was at the bat rack, I couldn't see it right away. But that's what our offense is all about. Fight until the end. We'll have to come back tomorrow."
The game went into a brief delay between the second and third innings to swap home-plate umpires. The game's original home-plate umpire, Hunter Wendelstedt, was forced to leave the game after taking a foul ball off his face mask. Second-base umpire Scott Barry replaced Wendelstedt behind the plate and the game resumed without a second-base umpire. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada (7-5, 2.95 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series against the Yankees on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium (first pitch is 7:05 p.m. ET). Estrada has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 14, and he's surrendered three runs in 15 innings vs. New York this season.
Yankees: The Yanks will send Michael Pineda to the mound Tuesday, hoping his success against the Blue Jays as a Yankee continues. In six starts against Toronto since 2014, Pineda has allowed just 12 runs (11 earned) in 37 1/3 innings, good for a 2.65 ERA.