J.A. Happ has recovered nicely from his worst start of the season, and CC Sabathia has recovered nicely from a strained groin.
The left-handers square off for the second time in less than a week Tuesday night as the Toronto Blue Jays try for their fifth straight series win over the visiting New York Yankees.
After Monday's 4-2 win to kick off the three-game series, the Blue Jays (27-26) are 10-4 against the Yankees (24-26) since last losing a series to them in August. Ryan Goins was 2 for 2 with a home run for his first multihit game since April 13. He had a 9-for-91 span in the 34 games separating them.
While the Blue Jays have won eight of 11 since their five-game losing streak, the Yankees have dropped four of six since their six-game winning streak.
Happ (6-2, 3.20 ERA), who gave up eight runs in two innings of a 13-2 home loss to Tampa Bay on May 16, has limited his last two opponents to four runs and six hits in 14 1/3 innings.
That includes a run and three hits in seven innings of Thursday's 3-1 win at Yankee Stadium, though he walked three for a second straight.
"I think that was a big game," Happ told MLB's official website. "Nice to get the series here. We're going to face them again next week, so we have to keep grinding."
It was his second win over the Yankees in as many attempts this season and third in as many starts against them to push his record to 5-2 with a 4.15 ERA in 11 starts. That's gotten substantially better in the five since his last defeat to New York, going 3-0 with a 2.23 mark while giving up three earned runs once.
Alex Rodriguez (0 for 14) Mark Teixeira (2 for 11) and Brian McCann (3 for 21) have struggled against Happ, but Carlos Beltran is 9 for 30 with three home runs.
Sabathia (3-3, 2.83) missed time earlier this month but has returned and put together another strong two starts to add to an already encouraging season. The veteran gave up two unearned runs and two hits in seven innings of the loss to Happ and is 2-1 with a 0.45 ERA in his last three starts.
"He's learning what he can and can't do now with lesser velocity," McCann said. "When you have a mindset like he's got, he's going to succeed no matter what he's doing. That's why he's one of the best pitchers of this generation. His career has been amazing."
If he's able to keep things positive for one more start, he's going to enter June without having given up four runs in a start. That just hasn't been the case too often lately against the Blue Jays.
Sabathia gave up four or five runs in his previous five starts in the series, going 2-4 with a 3.83 ERA in the last six meetings with Toronto.
Jose Bautista (4 for 34 with 10 strikeouts), Justin Smoak (3 for 15), Russell Martin (3 for 15) and Michael Saunders (1 for 17 with nine strikeouts) have rarely gotten in on the fun.