TORONTO (AP) Chris Bassitt reached 200 innings for the first time, Brandon Belt hit a three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays moved one step closer to an AL wild-card berth by beating the New York Yankees 6-0 on Thursday night.
Daulton Varsho and Matt Chapman hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays (88-71), who are in position for the second AL wild card, one game ahead of Houston (87-72) and two games in front of Seattle (86-73).
George Springer had three hits and Cavan Biggio had two hits and reached base three times for Toronto (88-71), which finished with 13 hits.
“We were able to pick it up today knowing that we’re pretty close to getting into the playoffs,” Belt said.
The Yankees (81-78) were blanked for the 10th time and remained one victory from assuring their 31st consecutive winning season.
Bassitt (16-8) allowed five hits over 7 2/3 innings to beat the Yankees for the first time in three career outings. He matched his career high with 12 strikeouts and walked one.
“I think the benchmark for elite pitchers is 200 innings,” Bassitt said, fighting to control his emotions. “Throw 160, I’ve done it. Throw 180, I’ve done it. But to get to 200 innings you have to have so many people who trust you. You have to have so much work behind the scenes that people don’t see. It’s been my only goal forever. So to get it, to have this organization believe in me like they do, it means the world to me.”
Bassitt, who won 15 games with the Mets last season, set a career-high for victories. In the first season of a $63 million, three-year contract with Toronto, he finished with a 3.60 ERA.
“I thought he was really good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Unpredictable. He’s got so many pitches and it’s hard to get a bead on what he’s really doing. On top of that, he was really executing tonight.”
Bassitt struck out Aaron Judge for the second out of the eighth, reaching 200 innings, then was replaced by Yimi García and left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 36,657. García retired Gleyber Torres to end the inning.
Tim Mayza finished the seven-hitter as the Blue Jays won for the eighth time in 12 games. The shutout was Toronto’s 15th.
With Toronto’s offense struggling after back-to-back shutout losses, Blue Jays manager John Schneider moved Bo Bichette from second to cleanup and dropped Chapman to eighth.
Belt replaced Bichette in the second spot in the batting order. Toronto’s designated hitter, Belt made it 6-0 with his 17th homer, a sixth-inning drive off Zach McAllister.
Varsho snapped Toronto’s 20-inning scoreless drought with a first-pitch, leadoff homer in the third, his 19th.
Chapman homered for the first time since Aug. 4 when he connected in the fourth. Chapman’s opposite-field drive to right was his 16th home run this season.
Varsho and Chapman’s homers came off right-hander Luke Weaver (3-6), who gave up two runs and six hits in four innings.
“All in all it wasn’t perfect but I think there were a lot of good things that came though the outing,” Weaver said.
Biggio made it 3-0 with an RBI single off right-hander Greg Weissert in the fifth.
New York’s Yoendrys Gómez, a 23-year-old right-hander, struck out four and walked none over two scoreless innings in his major league debut.
“He’s definitely a guy with a lot of talent and somebody we’re excited about,” Boone said. “It was good to get him in there and see him have success.”
Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slammed his bat in frustration after striking out against Weaver in the third, breaking it in half.
Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole, who wrapped up his season with a two-hitter on Wednesday, took batting practice before the game.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rodón (3-7, 5.74 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday as New York begins a three-game series at Kansas City. RHP Jordan Lyles (5-17, 6.24) is expected to start for the Royals.
Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (10-6, 3.82 ERA) is expected to start Friday’s home game against Tampa Bay. RHP Aaron Civale (7-4, 3.43) is scheduled for the Rays.
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