While things haven't gone as planned for the Toronto Blue Jays, they're hoping to get a spark from their latest win.
The visiting Blue Jays try to post back-to-back victories for the first time in almost two weeks Thursday night as they open a four-game set against the New York Yankees .
After suffering back-to-back losses at Baltimore, Toronto (9-13) salvaged Wednesday's series finale with a 6-5, 11-inning win. Rajai Davis , Jose Bautista , Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia all homered before Maicer Izturis drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk.
"That's what it takes," Davis told MLB's official website. "It takes all of us out there on the field, it takes every one of us pitching (in) to help us win games. We have to pick each other up whenever that happens.
"We didn't win the series, but we've got a lot to look forward to. We've got a lot more season left. We're looking forward to winning some more games."
Despite Wednesday's effort, the Blue Jays have been limited to a .189 average in dropping three of four on the road. Sitting at the bottom of the AL East, Toronto is 10 for its last 64 (.156) with runners in scoring position.
The Blue Jays' only consecutive wins came April 12-13 at Kansas City.
"We keep on saying how much a win can do for us, but I think we have to clean up our game," said Arencibia, who leads the club with eight homers.
Toronto now turns to Mark Buehrle (1-0, 5.87 ERA), who's gone 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA over his last two starts. He allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings of Saturday's 5-3, 11-inning loss to New York (11-9).
The veteran left-hander is 1-8 in 13 career starts against the Yankees while compiling a 6.03 ERA - his highest mark against any team. Buehrle can't be looking forward to facing Vernon Wells , who's gone 23 for 47 (.489) with two homers in their matchups.
"He's a guy who throws strikes, and I'm usually a guy who is swinging often, so I've gotten a few to fall in," Wells said after taking Buehrle deep Saturday. "We talk to each other back and forth. We are two old guys that have been around a long time and have had to face each other several times, so we have fun with it."
Wells, who spent the first 12 years of his career with Toronto, is batting .349 with four homers and nine RBIs in his last 10 games against his former team.
New York counters with Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 2.35). After throwing a five-hitter versus Baltimore on April 14, Kuroda scattered three hits over 7 1-3 innings of one-run ball opposite Buehrle last weekend.
"His slider was really good," manager Joe Girardi said. "He used it really effectively against the right-handers. He used his split pretty effectively, threw some early curveballs. He just mixed his pitches. He gave us a great outing again."
Kuroda, 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts in the series, faces a Blue Jays team that's dropped 12 of 14 in the Bronx. Toronto has hit .224 and been outscored 78-47 over that stretch.
The Yankees return home looking to avoid a fourth loss in five games after falling 3-0 at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. New York managed just four singles as Robinson Cano , Travis Hafner , Francisco Cervelli and Lyle Overbay - the team's 3-4-5-6 hitters Wednesday - went a combined 0 for 13.
Kevin Youkilis has missed the last four games with lower back tightness but could return Thursday. He's 3 for his last 28 with eight strikeouts.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|April 22, 2013||Maicer Izturis||Day-to-Day||Sore hamstring|
|April 14, 2013||Sergio Santos||15-Day DL||Right triceps strain|
|April 13, 2013||Jose Reyes||60-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|April 12, 2013||Jose Reyes||Day-to-Day||Sprained left ankle|
|April 11, 2013||Darren Oliver||Day-to-Day||Arm|
|April 04, 2013||Jose Bautista||Day-to-Day||Left game - Twisted ankle|
|New York Yankees|
|April 22, 2013||Kevin Youkilis||Day-to-Day||Lower back tightness|
|April 12, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist contusion|
|March 26, 2013||Cesar Cabral||60-Day DL||Left elbow pain|
|March 22, 2013||Curtis Granderson||15-Day DL||Fractured right forearm|
|March 22, 2013||Derek Jeter||15-Day DL||Recovery from left ankle surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Phil Hughes||15-Day DL||Right upper back thoracic injury|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Nothing was working for Hiroki Kuroda in the first two innings. By the time the right-hander was lifted after the sixth, he really had impressed his manager.
With Derek Jeter making his first visit to the Bronx this season, Kuroda gave a gutsy performance, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and the New York Yankees used a flurry of early long balls to outslug the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Thursday night.
"This might be his best performance of the year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It says a lot because he didn't have a whole lot."
Vernon Wells homered again against Mark Buehrle , and Francisco Cervelli also connected for New York, which overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Blue Jays for the third time within a week. The Yankees took two of three in a weekend series in Toronto.
Kuroda (3-1) settled after giving up homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie in the first two innings, yielding six hits and three runs before getting the third out of the second. With a little help from Cervelli, his catcher, Kuroda didn't allow a hit after Munenori Kawasaki doubled with two outs in the second.
"All I thought about was, `Just hang in there,"' Kuroda said through a translator.
Cervelli knew Kuroda was struggling, yet he would never let on. His job was to figure out a way to guide his pitcher through the struggles.
"I think he started to take a little more time and throw his pitches down," Cervelli said. "I started to call more breaking balls."
Jeter, out until probably mid-July because of a broken ankle, watched a no-frills New York lineup improve to 12-9. The Yankees captain said he was meeting some of his teammates for the first time.
Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson each pitched a scoreless inning, and Mariano Rivera was perfect in the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.
The game drew 31,445, the fourth time this month a record low has been set at new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was ejected in the seventh inning after umpires overturned a call at first, giving Ben Francisco an infield hit.
With a runner on first, Francisco hit a soft grounder to third base. Lawrie made a low throw that first base umpire Chad Fairchild initially said Encarncion made a clean scoop and Francisco was out.
But crew chief Jeff Kellogg, who was the second base umpire, felt he had a better view of the play than Fairchild. He called the group together and overturned the call. TV replays showed Encarnacion trapped the ball and didn't have possession.
"My sense was that the ball was resting on the ground and his glove was around the top of the ball," Kellogg said.
Gibbons argued with Kellogg, tossed his hat and was ejected for the 22nd time in his career.
"I asked him how could they overturn it if there is no appeal by the other side? I thought the rule was that there had to be an appeal by the other side for them to get together," Gibbons said. "That was my interpretation of the rule. They are a good umpiring crew, they're trying to get it right."
Gibbons added: "You kind of wish they had done that when Galarraga was pitching the perfect game."
He was referring to Detroit's Armando Galarraga , who lost a perfect game in 2010 on a blown call at first base with two outs in the ninth inning.
It was Gibbons' second ejection in two games for the disappointing Blue Jays, off to a 9-14 start after bulking up their roster during the offseason.
The left-handed Buehrle, pitching against Kuroda for the second time within a week, struggled against a team that came in hitting .199 against lefties, yielding five runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Buehrle (1-1) has lost seven straight decisions against the Yankees dating to 2004 with the Chicago White Sox and is 1-9 in 14 starts against New York.
Encarnacion hit a two-run drive in the first, and Lawrie led off the second with a fly that landed in the second row of the short porch in right field for his first home run this season.
Wells, a former Toronto star who was among the players New York acquired in March, homered leading off the second with a drive just beyond the 408-ft mark in center field. Wells is 24 for 50 (.480) against Buehrle.
"He's got new life going over there," Gibbons said of Wells. "He's a very intelligent guy and you know he's motivated."
Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner reached on singles, and Cano sent a long drive to right-center for his seventh homer of the year.
"He's fun to watch," Wells said of Cano.
Cervelli homered to deep left in the fourth.
NOTES: The Yankees' top outfield prospect, Mason Williams, was charged with driving under the influence following a traffic stop in Florida. ... The Blue Jays placed 1B Adam Lind on the paternity list and recalled RHP Brad Lincoln from Triple-A Buffalo. Lincoln pitched a scoreless inning. ... Toronto LHP Ricky Romero is scheduled to start Saturday, his first outing since his demotion during spring training to work on his mechanics. He'll pitch for Class A Dunedin.