American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 17th (All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (20-17) at Toronto Blue Jays (20-18), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Phil Hughes (3-4, 5.50) Toronto - Drew Hutchison (2-1, 5.53)
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays used a barrage of home runs to defeat the New York Yankees in the opener of this two-game series and shoot for a sweep tonight at Rogers Centre.
Edwin Encarnacion had a three-run homer, J.P. Arencibia cracked a two-run shot and both Jose Bautista and Kelly Johnson added solo home runs in Wednesday's 8-1 victory which was fueled by an 11-3 advantage in hits. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda was reached for seven runs and eight hits, including three home runs, in five innings.
"It was a good offensive night up and down the lineup," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
Bautista has four homers in his last six games, and belted 43 a year ago for Toronto, which ended a three-game slide and is 1-2 on a seven-game homestand which continues with a three-game set versus the New York Mets.
Toronto starter Kyle Drabek was solid in seven innings of work, giving up one run on three hits. The young right-hander fanned five and walked four, and won for the first time since April 15.
Prior to the game, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie received a four-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his aggressive actions toward umpire Bill Miller during Tuesday's game against the Rays. Lawrie's tirade included throwing his helmet in Miller's vicinity. Lawrie, who elected to appeal the suspension, went 0-for-4 with a run scored.
Blue Jays rookie starter Drew Hutchison has two wins in five starts this season and will try to make it three in six tonight. Hutchison won his last outing in Saturday's 2-1 victory at Minnesota, as he delivered six innings of one-run ball, four strikeouts and four walks.
The young righty is 2-1 in five trips to the mound and owns a 5.53 ERA in that stretch. Hutchison will be put to the test Thursday versus the Yankees.
New York has dropped two in a row since winning four of five games, and will close out a four-game trek Thursday. Kuroda couldn't keep the Yankees out of the loss column for a second straight night with his miserable performance and Mark Teixeira drove in the team's only run in the sixth inning.
The Yankees were stymied by Drabek and couldn't solve the right-hander.
"He kept the ball on the ground tonight and that's what he is, a groundball pitcher," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Drabek. "It seems like we weren't able to lay off the sinkers that were out of the zone and he took advantage of that."
The Yankees will try to get the bats going again tonight and have scored two runs or less three times in the last four games -- all losses. Following their visit to Canada, the Bronx Bombers will return to Yankee Stadium for a six- game residency versus Cincinnati and Kansas City.
New York will hand the ball to Phil Hughes Thursday and he is riding a personal two-game winning streak. Hughes ended a two-game slide on May 6 in a 10-4 win at Kansas City by holding the hosts to three runs in 6 2/3 innings. He then fired 7 2/3 innings and yielded one run in Saturday's 6-2 win at home versus the Mariners.
Hughes, a right-hander, has won three of his last five starts and is 3-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven outings this season. He has faced Toronto 17 times (10 starts) in his career and is 3-3 with a 4.66 ERA, spanning 63 2/3 innings.
New York went 11-7 against Toronto a year ago and has won six of the past nine matchups between the clubs.
05/17 10:44:35 ET