NEW YORK (AP) — The latest clash between Gerrit Cole and Alek Manoah morphed into the newest chapter in Anthony Volpe’s storybook start.
Cole and Manoah pitched scoreless ball after a chirpy buildup, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Saturday on pinch-hitter DJ LeMahieu’s walkoff bases-loaded single in the ninth inning.
Volpe hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Yimi García and pinch-hitter Danny Jansen hit a two-run homer in the ninth against Wandy Peralta after a leadoff walk to Alejandro Kirk. Anthony Rizzo doubled off Jordan Romano (2-1) starting the bottom half.
Intrigue began even before the first pitch. Just as Cole was about to start the game, he was forced to wait, crouching behind the mound as Manoah and Kirk slowly walked from the Blue Jays bullpen down the left-field line to the dugout.
“Didn’t notice,” Cole said.
Cole allowed four hits in 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks, extending his scoreless streak to 20 2/3 innings and lowering his ERA to 0.79.
Manoah gave up two hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk, dropping his ERA from 6.98 to 5.13.
“Kind of old-school baseball,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “It was who was going to blink first and, really, neither one of them did.”
Last Aug. 21, Manoah threw an inside pitch early in the game that went near Yankees star Aaron Judge, then hit Judge on the arm guard above the left elbow. Judge glanced at Manoah as Cole started yelling and a few other Yankees came over the dugout railing. Cole was intercepted by bench coach Carlos Mendoza before reaching the umpires.
“I think if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time,” Manoah said, referring to the advertisement stenciled on the grass between the Yankees dugout and first-base line.
Asked in November on NBA player Serge Ibaka’s YouTube show “How Hungry Are You?” “who is the worst cheater in baseball history, Manoah responded: “Gerrit Cole. He cheated. He used a lot of sticky stuff to make his pitches better. He kind of got called out on it.”
Neither Cole nor Manoah addressed their past Saturday, though Cole praised Manoah’s performance.
“Obviously, Alek was on his game today,” Cole said. “He threw tremendous.”
Manoah has a 1.17 ERA in five appearances at Yankee Stadium, where he won his big league debut by tossing six scoreless innings of two-hit ball on May 27, 2021.
“Like I’ve said all weekend, we’re not facing each other — I’m not getting in the box against him, he’s not getting in the box against me,” Manoah said.
Volpe homered one pitch after Oswald Peraza singled for the Yankees’ third hit. After racing around the bases, the 5-foot-9 Volpe leaped to bash forearms with on-deck hitter, 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge.
García and Kirk called time to go over their signals, which gave the 22-year-old Volpe a chance to emerge from the dugout for a curtain call.
“It was pretty crazy,” Volpe said. “I didn’t really know what was going on. I did’t want to assume to go out or anything like that. Once I got told to do it, it was pretty cool.”
Jansen hit his first pinch homer and the first tying homer for the Blue Jays in the ninth inning or later since John Mayberry Jr.’s on Sept. 14, 2014.
Jimmy Cordero (1-0) got George Springer to hit into an inning-ending double play in the top of the ninth for his first win since 2020. New York improved to 11-0 this year when facing a series loss.
The Bleacher Creatures serenaded Blue Jays bench coach Don Mattingly with chants of “Donnie Baseball!” in the first inning and Mattingly saluted the fans in right field. He played his entire 14-year career with the Yankees, serving as captain for his final five seasons.
Springer was met with chants of “You’re a cheater!” as he stood in right field during the fifth inning. Springer was a member of the 2017 Houston Astros, found by Major League Baseball to used electronics to steal signs.
Blue Jays: 2B Santiago Espinal left with a bruised right wrist after he was hit by a 98 mph Cole fastball in the second inning.
Yankees: OF Harrison Bader (left oblique) had a day off after his first rehab game Friday for Double-A Somerset. … RHP Luis Severino (right lat) is expected to throw at least two more batting practice sessions in Tampa before the Yankees map out a rehab stint.
Toronto RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2, 3.65 ERA) starts Sunday after giving up eight runs — seven in the first inning — over 4 2/3 innings in a 9-2 loss to Astros. Yankees RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-1, 8.79 ERA) hasn’t pitched more than four innings in any of his first four starts.
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Jerry Beach, The Associated Press