After a long career in the minors, right-hander Todd Redmond was given an opportunity by the Toronto Blue Jays this season.
The right-hander is taking advantage by showing with each start that he belongs in the big leagues.
Redmond threw a season-high seven innings and allowed four hits and one earned run as Toronto defeated the New York Yankees 6-2 on Thursday night. Anthony Gose hit a solo shot and Adam Lind belted a three-run homer as the Blue Jays (70-82) won the rubber game of the three-game series in front of 32,003 fans at Rogers Centre.
The Yankees (80-73) fell 3 1/2 games behind Texas and Tampa Bay in the race for the two American League wild-card spots.
Redmond (4-2) threw 69 of his 100 pitches for strikes and kept the ball down in the zone throughout the game. A solo shot by Curtis Granderson was his lone hiccup on the evening.
Redmond, 28, has won three straight decisions and has done a solid job since moving from the bullpen in early July to help a rotation that had been plagued by injuries and inconsistency.
“Things just worked out perfectly here for him,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons. “You know what, with everything we’ve been through, we’ve been looking for guys.
“That’s how careers and great stories are made.”
After spending parts of eight seasons in the minors, Redmond made his first major-league start last August for the Cincinnati Reds. It was his only appearance for the team and Toronto later claimed him off waivers last March.
He spent some time at triple-A Buffalo and has been a steady presence since being called up by the Blue Jays. Redmond has allowed two earned runs or less in six of his last nine starts.
“He doesn’t give in, nothing rattles him,” Gibbons said. “He’s a lot like (Mark) Buehrle from the right side. They’ve got the same mental approach. They just compete, good, bad or ugly. They don’t back down from anything. They take the ball.
“You need more of those guys in this game if you’re going to win anything.”
Redmond said he’s always been confident, he was just waiting for his shot.
“I just know my ability, I knew I was capable of doing it,” he said. “I’ve gone through the minors and I got the chance and now I’m just trying to go with it and run with it.”
His statistics are improving with every outing. Redmond has struck out 16 batters over his last three starts while issuing just one walk and his earned-run average is down to 3.89.
“They claimed me off waivers for a reason,” he said. “I guess they saw something in me to actually claim me. After getting claimed by the Orioles (in February 2012) and then claimed here, they saw something and I’m glad they did.”
Sergio Santos relieved Redmond and worked a perfect eighth inning. The Yankees loaded the bases in the ninth before Casey Janssen came on for the final two outs to pick up his 32nd save.
The Blue Jays improved to 5-3 at home against the Yankees this season but were a dismal 0-10 in New York.
“The way the year has gone here, we’re looking for some satisfaction and two out of three against them is nice,” Gibbons said. “Especially the way they’ve been beating us like a drum all year long. So we like to inflict our own version of pain somehow.”
Hiroki Kuroda (11-12) allowed eight hits and three earned runs over six innings for the Yankees, who are seeing their post-season hopes fade with each defeat.
“There’s only so many ‘Get ’em tomorrows’ left,” said third baseman Mark Reynolds. “We’re going to keep fighting and see where we are.”
Gose, who had three of Toronto’s 10 hits, restored the Blue Jays’ two-run lead in the sixth inning with his second homer of the year. Lind followed an inning later with a rainbow shot, his 22nd homer of the season, off Joba Chamberlain.