Yankees-Blue Jays Preview
Following a rough two-game stretch, Masahiro Tanaka appears to have regained his form.
He's usually been solid on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Looking to win a third straight start, the right-hander tries to keep the New York Yankees from being swept in a three-game series at Toronto for the first time in 16 seasons Wednesday night.
Tanaka (3-0, 2.89 ERA) gave up 10 earned runs over 39 1/3 innings of his first six starts, then equaled that amount over 12 of his next two. Since then, he's allowed one run while going seven in each of the last two.
He yielded two hits without a run in Friday's 4-1 victory at Tampa Bay.
''He was so efficient with his pitches," teammate Alex Rodriguez said of Tanaka, who has gone 11 straight starts without losing a decision. "He could have pitched a complete game.''
Making his third straight start away from Yankee Stadium, Tanaka is 2-0 with a 1.34 ERA in five road outings. It began April 12 at Toronto, where he allowed a two-run double to Jose Bautista but lasted five innings - partly because of four walks - while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 victory.
He's 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in three starts at Rogers Centre, where New York (24-27) has been outscored 19-7 during a four-game skid. Last swept in a series of at least three games at Toronto in 2000, New York has totaled five runs in three overall.
''The guys in the room have to get it done,'' manager Joe Girardi said after Tuesday's 4-1 defeat. ''It's been a struggle for most of the year.''
Darwin Barney had a two-run single and Kevin Pillar singled home the go-ahead run in a three-run seventh for the Blue Jays (28-26), who have won nine of 12.
With shortstop Troy Tulowitzki banged up, Barney is 6 for 14 in four games.
Aaron Sanchez (4-1, 3.29) gave up a solo homer to Brian McCann, one other run and two other hits in six innings in that April loss opposite Tanaka. It was Sanchez's first start against the Yankees after 10 career relief appearances.
That was one of the eight times in 10 starts the right-hander has yielded three or fewer earned runs. It also was the case Friday against Boston, when he gave up three earned in 6 2/3 innings while taking a no-decision in the 7-5 home victory.
Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley are a combined 0 for 13 against Sanchez. Headley, who had two hits Tuesday, is batting .351 in his last 11 games.
With one hit and nine strikeouts in 16 at-bats since coming off the disabled list Thursday, Rodriguez might sit for a third straight contest.
Jason Grilli could make his Toronto debut after being acquired Tuesday from Atlanta. The 39-year-old former closer went 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA with two saves in 21 games for the Braves this year but apparently is valued by the Blue Jays.
''There's a lot that we like about Jason and how he complements this team,'' general manager Ross Atkins said. ''The first thing that comes to mind is experience."