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Yankees lose Teixeira for season, then crushed by Blue Jays

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BLUE JAYS 11, YANKEES 5

Joe Girardi played along with a question Friday afternoon about whether it feels like the Yankees are underdogs in their race with Toronto to win the AL East.

In the ensuing hours, Girardi learned that he had lost Mark Teixeira for the season and then watched hotshot rookie Luis Severino and his team absorb a pounding in a blowout defeat to the Blue Jays, 11-5, at the Stadium.

Now 2½ games out of first place entering Saturday’s single-admission doubleheader, the Yankees unmistakably are anything but the favorites in this division race.

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“I can understand why people might consider us the underdog, I can understand that,” Girardi said. “(Toronto) made a lot of moves and added some pretty big names and they’ve played extremely well the second half, since the trade deadline. They score a ton of runs. So I can understand that, but you gotta play the games.”

With by far his shortest and worst outing among seven major-league starts, Severino did not give the Yankees (77-62) much of a chance. The impressive rookie had allowed just five total runs in his previous four starts, until the Jays’ loaded lineup smashed him for that many runs in the first inning alone.

“He didn’t really have any command of his fastball tonight . . . and they made him pay,” Girardi said.

Severino slipped on the mound before the five-run outburst, which included two-run homers by AL MVP frontrunner Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak, two of Toronto’s five blasts. “(His fall) scared me more probably than it scared him, but he’s fine,” Girardi said.

The rookie also wore a wrap on his lower right leg after the game, which he said was unrelated and happened when he “kicked myself” at home ahead of the start.

“It didn’t affect me,” Severino said. “I just didn’t make the pitches.”

Severino coughed up another run in the third and recorded just seven outs before Girardi replaced him with recalled righty Chris Martin.

Marquee deadline acquisition David Price (15-5) held the Yanks to two runs over five innings with seven strikeouts, including three of Alex Rodriguez’s four K’s.

The Blue Jays (80-60) also dealt for star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in July, while the Yanks held on to top prospects such as Severino and Greg Bird, who mostly has been manning first base in Teixeira’s absence.

Teixeira went for a third round of tests before the game on his bothersome right shin, including another MRI. GM Brian Cashman announced that the results for the first time revealed a fracture that will sideline Teixeira for the remainder of 2015.

“This one definitely shows a fracture . . . where the previous tests did not,” Cashman said. “This was the third time, and there is a definite, obvious conclusion. . . . I think Tex was expecting good news, but it was quite the opposite.”

Cashman added that he believes the fracture “has been there all along” but went previously undetected. According to the GM, doctors told him that the fracture carries a minimum three-month recovery process.

Teixeira enjoyed a strong bounce-back season after a couple of injury-plagued campaigns, finishing with 31 homers and 79 RBI in 111 games.

“I’m actually not surprised, I was really just kind of wishful thinking,” Teixeira said. “But it’s been really painful.

“I can’t really put it into words. I feel like this team has a chance to win a World Series and to not be on the field is really tough to take.”

The All-Star first baseman suffered what was initially termed a deep bone bruise when he fouled a ball off his lower leg on Aug. 17. He sat out a week and then attempted to return to the lineup for two games, before shutting it down again on Aug. 28.

Teixeira also missed 30 of the final 31 games at the end of the 2012 season with a strained calf before reinjuring himself during the playoffs, and he played just 15 games in 2013 due to a wrist injury.

“The great thing is I’m as strong as I’ve been in years; I’m as healthy as I’ve been in years,” said Teixeira, who has one more year remaining on his contract at $ 22.5 million. “This is just unlucky.”

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