Yankees-Blue Jays Preview
The New York Yankees haven't fared too well on the road of late, but they could get an emotional boost during the final stop on their six-game trip.
New York (69-61) has lost eight of 12 road games this month and barely avoided a three-game sweep Sunday, getting a sacrifice fly from Curtis Granderson in the 11th inning for a 3-2 win at Tampa Bay.
New York will try to change its fortunes away from home by adding to one of its longest win streaks over Toronto (58-73). The Yankees, 12-1 in this season's series, claimed a series-best 13 in a row over the Blue Jays from 1995-96.
New York might have already matched that streak if not for an 8-4 loss April 21 that denied it a three-game sweep at the Rogers Centre.
Jeter might get to help the Yankees keep beating the Blue Jays in his return from a strained right calf. The team's captain, 10th on the all-time hits list with 3,308, has played just five games in this injury-plagued season.
"He's still going to have to be smart," manager Joe Girardi told the team's website. "We're just going to go day to day and see what I see the night before and make the decision the next day."
Robinson Cano, batting .464 in his last 14 contests, has played a part in the Yankees' success over Toronto by going 10 for 20 with three homers and nine RBIs in his last five matchups. Cano is also hitting .515 (17 for 33) during an eight-game hit streak in Toronto.
Cano and Jeter will try to provide some much-needed support to Phil Hughes (4-12, 4.88 ERA). The right-hander is 0-5 with a 5.63 ERA in his last eight starts but had one of his better performances Tuesday against Toronto.
He allowed two runs over six innings but was in line for the loss until New York rallied for a 3-2 victory. Hughes has received a combined two runs of support in his last four games.
Hughes has allowed two runs over six innings in each of his two starts against the Blue Jays this season but hasn't received a decision in either one. He's gone 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA in his last two games in Toronto, both in 2012.
R.A. Dickey (9-12, 4.49) is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA in his last three starts against the Yankees, losing both matchups this season. He gave up two runs in the first seven innings versus New York on Wednesday before allowing Soriano's tiebreaking homer in his final frame of a 4-2 loss.
Dickey, who struck out nine in that game, has allowed four runs in each of his last two outings.
In this start, the knuckleballer will try to help Toronto build off ending its season high-tying seven-game skid. The Blue Jays used a bases-loaded walk and a groundout in the ninth inning Sunday for a 2-1 victory to avoid a sweep to lowly Houston.
"Winning the last one here always feels good. It doesn't make things any better where we are at right now, but it was something we needed," manager John Gibbons said.
Jose Reyes is batting .393 in his last eight games against the Yankees and is 5 for 12 (.417) in his four this season. He's has a pair of home runs in his six career at-bats versus Hughes.
Cano has two singles and a double in his last nine at-bats against Dickey.