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Yankees Turn to Make Statement Against Blue Jays

Yankees will play three games in Toronto

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports


After being swept by the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium last weekend and losing two-of-three to the Cleveland Indians the Yankees have fallen out of first place and are heading to Toronto with something to prove.

The Yankees bats have been slumping as of late and before Thursdays eight-run outburst, the Yankees were held to just nine runs in 71 innings. Throughout that stretch the Yankees were shut out by the now first place Blue Jays back to back games.

The Blue Jays come into the series having won 11 games in a row and new acquisitions Troy Tulowitzki and David Price have made immediate impact.

Price, who the Yankees will face on Friday is 11-4 on the season with a 2.35 earned run average, and with the Blue Jays Price is 2-0 with a 0.60 earned run average.

Price will face off against Yankees starter Ivan Nova who has been up and down for the Yankees. Nova is 4-4 with a 3.52 era this season. Nova will make his ninth start of the year and his second consecutive start vs. Toronto. He had a three-start win streak snapped on Saturday, retiring 16 of 19 batters faced before allowing a grand slam to Justin Smoak in the sixth inning.

On Saturday the Yankees will go with Masahiro Tanaka against Blue Jays Marco Estrada. Tanaka lost to the Blue Jays his last time out, allowing a pair of solo homers in a 2-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium. It was Tanaka’s second consecutive quality start and his seventh straight outing of six innings or more. The Yankees bats were shut down by Estrada as he held them scoreless over 6 1/3 innings his last time out. Estrada has a career 4.50 ERA in three career games against New York.

Sunday, the Yankees will go with rookie Phenom Luis Severino. Severino is making his third Major League start, having limited the Indians to two runs over six innings in a no-decision on Tuesday. Severino recovered from a shaky beginning and showed great maturity. Sunday’s game will be a good test for the 21-year old. His counterpart is Drew Hutchison, who is 2-0 with a 4.24 earned run average.

In order to hold off the red hot Blue Jays the Yankees will need to get production from the top of their order, specifically Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner. Gardner hasn’t been the same player since returning from the all-star break, as he is hitting .195 since the break, not including a three hit night on Thursday.

Ellsbury is batting .179 after returning from an injury, but had two hits on Thursday after taking the day off on Wednesday. The Yankees need Gardner and Ellsbury to carry their Thursday night performances into the weekend.

If Ellsbury and Gardner can get it going and the top of the lineup can start to produce like they did just two weeks ago, the Yankees will cool off a Jays team that is due to lose and could see themselves back atop the AL East yet again.

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