Blue Jays-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have won eight straight at home against the

Toronto Blue Jays.

There are more streaks in favor of the Yankees entering Monday

night’s opener of a three-game set, as the Blue Jays have dropped

seven in a row overall and eight straight on the road with

struggling starter Henderson Alvarez having lost his last four

outings.

New York (74-53) has outscored Toronto 48-20 with a 13-4 edge in

homers during this run at home in the series. The Blue Jays (56-70)

are losers of seven straight for the first time since a nine-game

skid from May 19-27, 2009, and 14 games under .500 for the first

time since Sept. 25, 2009.

The Yankees are beginning a six-game homestand with a four-game

AL East lead over second-place Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays were rained

out Sunday at Baltimore, which is 4 1/2 games behind New York in

third place.

“Right now we feel good about where we are,” New York right

fielder Nick Swisher said. “Excited to get home and start a new

homestand.”

Alvarez (7-11, 4.84 ERA) will try to end Toronto’s skid as well

as his own. He’s 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA in four starts this month

since beating Detroit on July 28.

The right-hander has failed to record an out past the fifth

inning three times in his skid, and surrendered career highs of

eight runs and 12 hits in 4 1-3 innings of an 11-2 defeat to Texas

on Aug. 19.

Alvarez is 0-0 with a 5.25 ERA in two career starts against the

Yankees, with Curtis Granderson 3 for 5 against him.

Granderson hit his 200th career homer and Swisher capped a

strong weekend with three hits in a 4-2 victory Sunday at

Cleveland. Swisher went 7 for 11 as the Yankees took two of three,

and he’s hitting .378 over his last 19 games.

Closer Rafael Soriano got the final four outs for his 33rd save.

He appears to be OK after getting hit on the side of his right hand

by a line drive.

“It feels fine right now,” Soriano said.

The Yankees have taken five of eight from the Blue Jays in 2012.

Major league hits leader Derek Jeter of New York and Toronto

slugger Edwin Encarnacion are each 12 for 30 in the season

series.

Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista landed back on the disabled list

after re-injuring his left wrist in Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the

Orioles. The same injury kept him sidelined for 5 1/2 weeks before

he returned Friday.

Adam Lind, originally not due back until a week later, will

return to the lineup Monday for the first time since July 25 after

being out with a back injury.

“It’s nice to have purpose and be back here in the big leagues

trying to win as many games as we can and keep as many teams out of

the playoffs as we can right now,” Lind told the Blue Jays’

official website.

New York’s David Phelps (3-4, 2.69) will start in place of Ivan

Nova, placed on the 15-day DL Thursday. Phelps, who has never faced

Toronto, will remain in the rotation after going 1-1 with a 3.86

ERA in two starts this month filling in for an injured CC

Sabathia.