TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays were swept in the Bronx last week and will try to return the favour Wednesday versus the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays lost all three games at Yankee Stadium from June 17-19, but have taken the first two installments of this set, including Tuesday's 7-6 win courtesy of a throwing error by Yankees third baseman Yangervis Solarte in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Jose Reyes started the inning with a double and came around to score after Melky Cabrera placed a bunt toward Solarte, whose throw to first base was off the mark. Reyes made up for a throwing error that plated two runs during a five-run seventh inning for the Yankees. Brian Roberts hit a two-run homer in the seventh to help New York tie the game at 6-6.
"I tried to make something happen after that mistake," said Reyes. "They tied the game there in that situation. I have to make a better throw than that. It is what it is. Like I said, when I came up in the ninth inning I just tried to make something happen."
Dioner Navarro hit a three-run homer, Colby Rasmus drove in two runs and both Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and two runs scored for the Blue Jays, who have won three of their last five games, and sit 2 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore and 3 1/2 games in front of New York for the AL East lead.
Mark Buehrle started for the Jays and was looking for his 11th win, but did not figure into the decision after he allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings. Casey Janssen threw a scoreless top of the ninth for the win.
Toronto, which prevailed despite committing three errors, will also host the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers on this homestand and is 22-17 at Rogers Centre.
Toeing the rubber for the Jays tonight will be Drew Hutchison, who is 5-5 with a 3.86 earned run average. Hutchison was shaky in his last outing, a 6-4 loss at Yankee Stadium in which he walked four batters and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.
Hutchison is 1-2 in his last three starts after going 3-0 in his previous four trips to the hill. The right-hander is 1-3 in five home starts and 1-2 with a 7.24 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.
The Yankees failed to finish off last night's rally and lost their fourth straight game in the process. Solarte's error was a costly one and reliever Adam Warren was pinned with the loss.
Derek Jeter homered, while Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Roberts all ended with two hits and a run scored. David Phelps started for the Yankees and was reached for six runs and eight hits in five innings.
"That was an ugly game to watch, and if you're a fan, you should probably get your money back," said Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who went 0-for-5 and had hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.
New York will return to the Bronx for an upcoming homestand versus Boston and Tampa Bay, and hopes to improve its 22-19 road mark Wednesday.
It's been almost a month since Hiroki Kuroda won a start and he will take the mound Wednesday for the Yankees. Kuroda's last win was May 28 at St. Louis and he is 0-2 in four starts since. He did not figure into the decision of a 5-3 win over Baltimore last Friday and gave up two runs in six innings. The righty carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Kuroda is 4-5 with a 4.23 ERA and 1-3 in seven road starts. He has faced the Blue Jays eight times (all starts) in his career and is 4-3 with a 3.81 ERA. Kuroda made five starts against Toronto last season, going 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA.
The Yankees are 5-3 against the Blue Jays this season.