Mark Buehrle could have used some more help from the rest of the Toronto Blue Jays in his latest loss to the New York Yankees.
Having Adam Lind back might help Buehrle – and it also could offset the potential absence of Jose Bautista.
A day after Lind’s impressive return, Buehrle gets another attempt to beat the Yankees for the first time in over 10 years and gain a share of the major league lead in wins Tuesday night.
Buehrle (10-4, 2.32 ERA) is 1-11 with a 5.84 ERA in 17 career starts against the Yankees, and he’s 0-9 with a 7.07 ERA in 13 games since getting that victory with the Chicago White Sox on April 10, 2004.
"We’ve done pretty well against Buehrle. … We’ve kind of had his number," left fielder Brett Gardner – 10 for 20 against the left-hander – told MLB’s official website.
Buehrle has been backed by just seven runs in his five starts against the Yankees since joining Toronto, but he hasn’t given his club much of a chance. He has a 4.65 ERA and has allowed six homers in 31 innings while going 0-3.
He gave up three runs – two earned – in six innings of a 7-3 defeat at New York on Wednesday, falling to 0-3 with a 3.26 ERA overall in his last three outings while being backed by three total runs.
That’s a big reason why he’s one win behind the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka for the most wins in baseball, and he’s tied for second with Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon and Adam Wainwright of St. Louis.
A bruised right foot kept Lind out of Buehrle’s last outing, but he returned to the lineup to connect for a three-run homer and an RBI single to power Monday’s 8-3 win.
Another strong performance could soften some potential absences. Bautista is nursing a left hamstring injury that likely will keep him out until later in the week, while Brett Lawrie went on the disabled list Monday with a broken finger.
Lind is hitting .376 versus righties this season, and is 4 for 12 with two doubles and two homers versus Yankees starter David Phelps.
"It’s going to be hard, we all know that," Lind said of the injuries to Bautista and Lawrie. "You aren’t going to replace Jose Bautista. If we play as a team and do our job in certain situations, we’ll hopefully be good, and maintain where we are."
Toronto (43-35) leads Baltimore by 1 1/2 games atop the AL East, while New York (39-36) is in third.
The Yankees have been outscored 22-4 during a three-game slide after winning four in a row, a stretch that included a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays last week.
Phelps (3-4, 3.86) completed that sweep by allowing two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 6-4 victory Thursday.
That effort against the Jays came six days after he allowed two hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-0 victory at Oakland, starting his recent turnaround following four straight losing starts that featured a 5.84 ERA.
"One of the biggest things for me every night is going six, seven innings," Phelps said.
Gardner went 0 for 2 in the series opener after going 9 for 20 with two homers in his first five games against Toronto this season. He went 3 for 3 against Buehrle on Wednesday.