Yankees, firing on all cylinders, visit Blue Jays (Jun 04, 2017)
TORONTO -- The New York Yankees have shown their sudden-strike power in the first three contests of their four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
That included four homers in the eighth inning of their 7-0 victory Saturday, a win that put them in a position to make it three wins in four games by taking the series finale at the Rogers Centre on Sunday.
"It's impressive," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of his team's power. "We're getting it from all spots in the lineup, which is really nice. When you get the production we got today, the home runs, the doubles, you're going to score runs."
Obviously, the pitching has been good as well. The Yankees (32-21) have outscored the Blue Jays 19-2 in their two victories.
"All the starters are just trying to go out there and put together a quality start," said left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who pitched six scoreless innings Saturday. "Our bats, everybody's swinging it pretty well, right now. We know we're going to get some run support, so we're just going to keep trying to play good baseball."
The series finale has a promising pitching matchup against starters who have not lost in a while.
The Blue Jays (27-29) will start Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.28 ERA), who has not lost since April 18 and is 5-0 with a 2.96 ERA in his eight starts since. He will face Luis Severino (4-2, 2.93), who has not lost since May 1 at Yankee Stadium when he allowed eight hits and five runs to the Blue Jays. He is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts since.
Stroman will be facing the Yankees for the second time this season. When he faced them May 3, he was limited to three innings (five runs, six hits, three walks) in a no-decision because tightness in his arm.
He is 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees.
Severino is 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA against Toronto in six career games (five starts) and 0-1, 4.15 in three starts at the Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays have been without catcher Russell Martin for the first three games of the series because of a neck issue, but he was feeling better Saturday and there were hopes that he could return Sunday.
The Yankees were hoping that Jacoby Ellsbury could return from a concussion during the series. He has had headaches and has been shut down until he is examined further Monday after the team returns to New York.
The four eighth-inning home runs the Yankees hit Saturday came against reliver Jason Grilli. He took over from Joe Biagini, who allowed three runs (one earned) in seven innings.
It showed the state of the Blue Jays' bullpen that Grilli stayed in for the whole inning once the homers started flying out of the park.
"(Grilli) has been pitching pretty well lately and our guys down in the 'pen are running on fumes right now," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We really can't keep this pace up, especially when you've got seven guys down there. Today was one of those days.
"Going into the game there were guys we had to stay away from, unless we had the lead or were tied. I don't hang anybody out to dry. It's hard simply because I like the guy so much, everybody does. That's never easy for a manager or a coach."
Key members of the bullpen should benefit from not being used Saturday. It also would help if Stroman can give them some innings, the way Biagini could.
The Blue Jays, who gained ground with an 18-10 May, will not be able to reach .500 before their 10-game homestand ends Sunday. A split with the Yankees would give them seven wins on the homestand put them one game from .500.