The visiting New York Yankees will try to extend their 11-game winning streak and complete a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
With DJ LeMahieu given the night off and Joey Gallo missing his third straight start because of a groin injury, the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 9-1 Tuesday night.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each homered and extended their hitting streaks to eight games for the Yankees, who have won four of six games this season against American League East rival Toronto.
The Yankees, who have the longest winning streak in the majors this year, also have won 13 of their past 14 games.
“Here in May, we’re trying to rack up as many wins as we can,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Any time you play well and you’re playing an intradivision game, it counts a little bit more — especially with a team that you think you might be competing against for something more. These are doubly important.”
The Blue Jays have lost two straight for the first time since Sept. 24, a span of 32 games. They have lost their first series of the season after going 6-0-1 in their first seven series. They split a four-games set with the Yankees April 11-14.
The Yankees will start left-hander Nestor Cortes (1-0, 1.31 ERA) on Wednesday. He allowed no runs, three hits and no walks while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings against Toronto on April 12 at Yankee Stadium. In eight career games (two starts) vs. Toronto, he is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA.
Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 5.52) will face the Yankees for the second time this season. He allowed three runs (two earned), five hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings on April 12. He struck out two in a 4-0 loss. In five career starts against the Yankees, he is 1-3 with a 4.68 ERA.
Marwin Gonzalez played left field Tuesday for New York because he had been 3-for-6 against Toronto starter Alek Manoah. Manoah allowed only one run in six innings Tuesday, and Gonzalez did not have a hit against him. He did have two doubles against the Toronto bullpen. LeMahieu is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Manoah.
Gallo was on the field and took part in batting practice Tuesday, but Boone is being cautious with him.
“I know (Tuesday) was better than the day before, and I think we’re at least encouraged by what we saw, but soft-tissue things. … you just kind of want to err on the side of caution, especially this time of year,” Boone said. “Making sure he’s sound and ready to go. So we’ll see how he does pregame, and you know, I’m expecting it to go pretty well.”
The Blue Jays’ hitters continued to struggle. The team has eight runs in its past four games, which has been a trend this season.
“I know my offense is going to hit,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It’s just that the first month, every game has been close, and we haven’t gotten it going offensively, but we will. I know it’s going to happen. Hopefully a couple of guys get hot. I’ve always said hitting is contagious.”
Help is on the way for Toronto. Teoscar Hernandez (oblique) could return to the lineup by Thursday, when the Blue Jays visit the Cleveland Guardians.
–Field Level Media