The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t been swept all season, but they’re on the brink of suffering that fate against the New York Yankees.
They’re hoping Drew Hutchison can help them avoid that – and snap their 15-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium – by continuing his road success Thursday night.
Toronto (41-32) has been outscored 10-4 while dropping the first two games in this series. The Blue Jays have hit just four homers while averaging 2.2 runs and dropping eight of 11 overall. They had averaged 5.3 runs per game during a 20-4 stretch.
Last swept in a series of three games or more by the Angels on Sept. 10-12, Toronto hasn’t won at Yankee Stadium since Aug. 29, 2012, and has lost 24 of 26 there.
"Maybe we don’t like the bright lights of Broadway, is all I can figure," manager John Gibbons said. "They definitely have our number."
New York’s 15 straight home wins against Toronto are the most by any team against one club since the Blue Jays won 16 straight at home against Baltimore from Aug. 8, 2009-June 15, 2011.
However, Hutchison (5-4, 3.62 ERA) has made himself at home on the road this season. He’s 4-1 with a 1.79 ERA in nine road outings compared to a 1-3 mark and 8.72 ERA in five home starts.
The right-hander has been especially good lately, throwing seven or more scoreless innings in three of his last four games away from home.
"It’s just worked out that way so far. It’s kind of one of those things," Hutchison said. "I haven’t had many starts at home, so that might be part of it. But the rest of that, I could really care less as long as we’re going out there and giving the team a chance to win."
Hutchison has never pitched in the Bronx, but struggled the last time he faced New York, allowing six runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 6-4 defeat on April 6. Before that, he held the Yankees to one run in six innings in a 4-1 victory on May 17, 2012.
The Yankees (37-33), who haven’t swept a home series of three or more games this season, trimmed Toronto’s lead in the AL East to 2 1/2 games with Wednesday’s 7-3 victory. Brian McCann matched a career high with five RBIs, connecting on his eighth homer and his first triple since 2009. He had been batting .154 over his previous 11 games with one extra-base hit.
"We really believe in him as an offensive force and he showed it tonight," manager Joe Girardi said.
David Phelps (2-4, 4.32) takes the mound six days after what he called one of the best starts of his career. He yielded two hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 7-0 win at Oakland on Friday after posting a 6.57 ERA in four straight losses.
Phelps gave up three runs – all on homers by Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista – during two innings of relief in New York’s 4-0 loss at Toronto on April 5. However, he’s 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three career starts against the Blue Jays.
Adam Lind is 4 for 11 off Phelps with two homers but has missed the last three games with a sore right foot and is unlikely to play Thursday, according to the team’s official website.
Derek Jeter is hitting .406 over his last eight games with seven runs scored and recorded his 533rd double to pull within one of Lou Gehrig for the most by a Yankee. He’s 3 for 6 off Hutchison.
Bautista recorded his 1,000th career hit Wednesday with an RBI double in the eighth.