So much for a dramatic Yankees victory, something they specialized in during the first half of the season.
Down by seven runs in the seventh inning Saturday to the Blue Jays, the Yankees stormed back with a six-run seventh, sparked by Miguel Andujar’s grand slam off ex-Yankee Tyler Clippard to get to within a run.
Nevertheless, Andrew McCutchen followed by striking out to end the inning and the Yankees weren’t able to finish the comeback in an 8-7 loss in The Bronx.
Since Aug. 26, when the Yankees finished a four-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore, they are just 8-10 while playing the White Sox, Tigers and Twins — all non-playoff teams — in addition to Toronto.
They got off to an atrocious start Saturday, as CC Sabathia suffered through perhaps his worst start of the year, allowing five runs in just 2 ¹/₃ innings.
Before the game, manager Aaron Boone mentioned how vital it was for the Yankees to finish strong.
“I think it matters,’’ Boone said of having momentum heading into the postseason.
“I think confidence is a really important thing in baseball and sports. No question, when you feel good about the way you’re playing and you’re in a good place that … it lends itself to a better brand of baseball.”
That was far from the case on a perfect fall day in The Bronx.
Sabathia started with an easy six-pitch first inning, but quickly fell apart.
Randal Grichuk led off Sabathia’s 28-pitch second with a home run before the lefty allowed three straight singles — including an RBI hit by Aledmys Diaz. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s two-out single to left made it 3-0.
Sean Reid-Foley struck out the side in the bottom of the inning, but the Yankees let him off the hook in the second.
After Reid-Foley issued back-to-back walks to Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez to open the inning, Toronto manager John Gibbons went to the mound. Reid-Foley then threw a ball to Gleyber Torres, which led to home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz ejecting Gibbons.
Torres then reached on an infield single that was smothered by Gurriel at shortstop to prevent a run from scoring.
Seemingly on the verge of getting back in the game, the Yankees instead came away with nothing, as Neil Walker, Luke Voit and Brett Gardner all struck out, with the Stadium crowd booing lustily after Gardner’s whiff.
Sabathia got the first out in the third, but then surrendered back-to-back homers to Grichuk — his second of the day — and Kevin Pillar to make it 5-0. Sabathia got booed as he walked off the mound.
Chad Green and Jonathan Holder pitched well out of the bullpen, but Tommy Kahnle allowed three runs in the seventh to seemingly knock the Yankees out of the game.
Giancarlo Stanton started the bottom of the seventh with a massive homer to left to make it 8-2, and Gregorius hit his second homer of the day to bring the Yankees a run closer.
Torres doubled, Neil Walker and Voit walked to load the bases for Andujar.
But in the eighth, after Aaron Hicks walked and moved to second on a wild pitch with one out, Gregorius fouled out to leave Sanchez to face Ken Giles.
Sanchez, who homered off Giles when the reliever was still with Houston earlier in the season, struck out to end the inning.
Giles finished it with a scoreless ninth.
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