Yankees-Blue Jays Preview
After a rough start to their current trip, the New York Yankees
have turned things around.
They hope Ivan Nova can follow that lead and end his recent
struggles on the mound.
The right-hander looks to avoid losing a third straight start
while trying to help the Yankees to a fourth consecutive victory
Saturday against the struggling Blue Jays.
New York (66-46) opened its seven-game trip with two straight
losses at Detroit, but has totaled 26 runs while winning the last
three. Ichiro Suzuki matched a career high with five RBIs and Mark
Teixeira homered for the second straight game in Friday’s 10-4 win
The AL East-leading Yankees have won six of nine after dropping
nine of 12.
“It seems like we’re starting to pick it up a little bit,”
catcher Russell Martin said.
Suzuki is batting .269 in 17 games since being traded to New
York, but is 6 for 17 with nine RBIs in his last four.
“There’s always an expectation here, whether it’s fair or not,
that when you get traded here you’re supposed to really come and
help,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Some guys are going to
feel that heat and I don’t think it’s really bothered him.”
Teixeira also is 6 for 17 over the same four-game stretch, and 4
for 11 with two homers in his last three versus Toronto
Nova (10-6, 4.81 ERA), however, is 0-3 with an 8.36 ERA in five
starts since winning at Boston on July 8.
Things have been particularly rough the last two outings,
getting tagged for 16 runs and 21 hits over 10 1-3 innings in
losses at home to Baltimore and at Detroit. He yielded seven of
those runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 loss to the Tigers on
“Every pitcher goes through it,” Girardi said. “For the most
part, the kid has been pretty good for us but right now, he’s
struggling. He’ll find his way out.”
That could come Saturday versus a Toronto club he’s gone 2-0
with a 3.47 ERA against in four starts.
Losers in 10 of 12 overall, the banged-up Blue Jays have scored
eight runs during their current four-game skid. Kelly Johnson
homered and drove in two runs Friday for Toronto, which is trying
to keep its collective head above water without injured regulars
Jose Bautista (wrist), Brett Lawrie (oblique), Adam Lind (back) and
J.P. Arencibia (hand).
“It’s not easy what we’re going through right now,” losing
pitcher Ricky Romero said.
Things got worse Friday when outfielder Colby Rasmus left after
eight innings with tightness in his right groin. Rasmus has 20 home
runs and a career high-tying 66 RBIs.
Edwin Encarnacion is .285 with 29 homers and 75 RBIs, but is 1
for 13 in his last four contests. He’s 1 for 9 against Nova.
The Blue Jays hand the ball to Aaron Laffey (3-2, 4.39), who has
a 6.04 ERA in his last five starts but is 3-1 during that stretch.
The left-hander allowed four runs in six innings of a 6-5 win at
Oakland on Sunday.
Laffey is 0-1 with an 11.74 ERA in three appearances against the
Yankees, but this will be his first start versus New York since
April 28, 2008 while with Cleveland.