Toronto Blue Jays
Young arms go at it in Yankees-Blue Jays matchup (Jun 03, 2017)
Toronto Blue Jays

Young arms go at it in Yankees-Blue Jays matchup (Jun 03, 2017)

Published Jun. 3, 2017 3:13 a.m. ET

TORONTO - The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays have split the first two games of a key four-game series between American League East rivals.

The Yankees won the opener in a 12-2 romp. The Blue Jays came back to take the second game Friday night in a 7-5 nail-biter.

The matchup in the third game Saturday at the Rogers Centre is between two young starters with Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-4, 4.11 ERA) facing Blue Jays right-hander Joe Biagini (1-3, 3.64)

The Friday game seemed likely to be more typical of the games that could be expected between the teams as the Blue Jays try to work themselves back into the race after a terrible start to the season.


The Blue Jays led 5-0, then 5-4, 6-4 and 6-5 before tacking on one more run. But Roberto Osuna came in to post his 12th save of the season.

"That's a hard-earned win by our guys, they kept coming at us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "The bullpen guys bent, but we didn't break, though. They've got as good as lineup as you're going to see and you always have the power threat."

The Yankees got back into the game when Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro each hit two-run homers in the sixth inning.

Judge hit his off Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano and sent him from the game with a 5-2 lead. Judge leads the league with 18 homers.

"Even when Judge hit the first one, we felt like we were in the game because our offense can be explosive," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We just gave them a couple late and we missed some opportunities early."

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who missed 38 games with a right calf strain, gave an indication that he is on his way back when he hit two home runs Friday.

"I'm not quite where I want to be right now, but I am getting a few pitches to hit as of late," Donaldson said. "I haven't missed them, but there's definitely some at-bats that I feel like I could do a better job at.

"I know just from how I'm recognizing pitches and executing on them. Yeah, there has been times where it's showed up and it's looked nice, and it's nice that's happened, but I'm still working and trying to improve."

Both teams respect the other team's offense.

"This is a really good lineup so you want to compete with your best stuff," Michael Pineda, who took the loss Friday, said of the Blue Jays. "For me, today, I didn't have my best stuff. I didn't have the command for my fastball today."

Biagini will face the Yankees as a starter for the first time in his career Saturday. Biagini, who will be making his sixth career major-league start, has pitched against the Yankees in relief seven times in his career and is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA against them.

He took the loss Sunday against the Texas Rangers when he allowed seven hits, one walk and two runs in six innings, his longest career outing. He struck out seven. He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five career starts, all this season.

Montgomery (2-4, 4.11 ERA) is coming off a loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday in the shortest outing of his career. He allowed eight hits, one walk and three runs (one earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

The 24-year-old will be facing the Blue Jays for the first time in his 10th major-league start. He has the lowest home run per nine innings ratio of among Yankees starters at 0.89 (five homers in 50 innings). That could be tested Saturday.


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