American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 18th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (17-25) at New York Yankees (26-16), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Brandon Morrow (1-2, 4.69)
New York - David Phelps (1-2, 4.33)
(Sports Network) - David Phelps takes the hill for New York on Saturday when
the Yankees attempt to continue their dominance over the Toronto Blue Jays in
Hiroki Kuroda paced the Yankees in the first matchup of the three-game series
on Friday as he gave up a mere two hits during eight innings of work in New
York's 5-0 shutout victory. Toronto came into weekend on a four-game winning
streak, having tallied 33 runs in its last three outings.
The Blue Jays, though, are just 1-7 against the Yankees on the season and have
lost all five games the teams have played at Yankee Stadium. In fact the
Yankees have won 17 of the last 19 meetings at home in this series.
Both Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encanacion went 2-for-4 with a double on Friday
but no other Blue Jay managed to get a hit. Cabrera has hit a double in four-
straight games and now owns a team-leading .284 batting average. Mark Buerhle
dropped to 1-3 on the year after giving up six hits and five runs in six
innings of work.
The Blue Jays hope Brandon Morrow can return from a back injury to help turn
their fortunes around against their AL East rival on Saturday. Morrow has not
pitched since May 5 when he allowed just three hits and two runs and struck
out eight despite issuing five walks in a lopsided win over Seattle.
Morrow has since been scratched twice because of upper back and neck soreness.
"We'll be cautious, it has been a little while since he has thrown, but if
it's easy for him, we'll just let him run with it," Blue Jays manager John
Gibbons said. "It has been a while since he has been out there."
Morrow is 1-2 with a 4.69 ERA in seven starts this season. He allowed seven
runs, five of which were earned, over 5 1/3 innings of a 9-4 loss to the
Yankees on April 19. He will hope Toronto's offense can regain its steam as it
outscored its opponents, 36-15, during its four-game winning streak that
preceded Friday's series opener.
Leadoff hitter Brett Gardner helped the Yankees get off to a good start on
Friday as he hustled his way to a first-inning triple. The 29-year old
center fielder is 5-for-14 with four stolen bases over his past four games.
Rookie third baseman David Adams became the first Yankee to hit safely in his
first three major league games since Shelley Duncan did so in four straight in
2007 by going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs in Friday's win.
Adams is not the only rookie making an impact for New York. Joe Girardi had to
be pleased with his 24-year old catcher Austin Romine as he registered the
first multi-hit game of his career in the series opener.
Both Adams and Romine are providing support for the Yankees' offense as
Robinson Cano looks to break out of his slump. The star second baseman's
batting average has dropped to .291 after only one hit in his last 12 at bats.
Prior to Friday's opener New York placed veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte on
the 15-day disabled list and recalled Vidal Nuno to replace him in the
Right-hander David Phelps will make his fourth start of the season on Saturday
since moving from the bullpen to a starting role earlier this month.
Phelps was handed a loss despite giving up only a single run and four hits in
6 2/3 innings against Cleveland on Monday. He is 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA in three
starts this year but owns a 4.33 overall ERA on the campaign.
05/18 10:19:51 ET