Much like in 2013, the Toronto Blue Jays have been reliant on the home run so far.
Two of them were more than enough to knock off the New York Yankees on Saturday, and CC Sabathia will be looking to keep the Blue Jays in the park Sunday after giving up two in a rough season debut.
The Blue Jays (3-3) won 4-0 on Saturday as R.A. Dickey combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter. Melky Cabrera homered for the second straight day while Jose Bautista went deep for the third time this season.
Toronto has scored four or fewer runs in each of its first six games, and 11 of its 18 runs have come from homers. The Blue Jays are 1-3 when they hit one or no homers after going 39-65 in such contests last season. They finished fourth in the majors last year with 185 home runs and were 35-23 when hitting two or more.
Homers were just part of Sabathia’s troubles in his first start, as he allowed six runs in the first two innings of a six-inning outing in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss at Houston. The left-hander gave up a career-high 28 home runs in 2013.
"I’ve got 34 – hopefully more – starts left. I’m definitely not going to pitch like I did tonight in the first two innings. I know I can pitch," Sabathia said. "I love to get guys out. I feel great, so no I’m not going to beat myself up over this."
Sabathia has gone 9-1 with a 2.58 ERA in his last 11 starts against Toronto. He threw eight innings and gave up three earned runs in a 5-4 home victory over the Blue Jays on April 27 in his lone matchup with them last year. Sabathia allowed homers to Bautista and Brett Lawrie in that contest.
Bautista is 2 for 23 against Sabathia with eight strikeouts, while Cabrera is the only other current Blue Jay to homer against him. Adam Lind is 7 for 15 off Sabathia.
Jacoby Ellsbury has gone 6 for 9 from the top of the order in the series, but New York’s 2-6 hitters went 0 for 18 on Saturday. The Yankees were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Kelly Johnson was 0 for 4 while starting at first base in place of Mark Teixeira, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after leaving Friday’s game with a strained right hamstring.
Teixeira, limited to 15 games last season due to injury, is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
"We don’t think it’s a bad strain," manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously, we’ll have a test on Monday when he gets back, but we just felt it was in the best interest of him and us to put him on the DL."
Toronto’s Drew Hutchison looks to build on a solid showing in his first start since having Tommy John surgery in 2012. The right-hander pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings and allowed three hits and three walks in a 4-2 road win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Hutchison gave up one run over six innings in his only career start against New York, a 4-1 Toronto victory May 17, 2012. Jeter and Teixeira were the only current Yankees to face him in that contest.