CC Sabathia will be forced to have a new batterymate Saturday for the New York Yankees .
Sabathia hasn't been caught by anyone this year besides Francisco Cervelli , whose long-term injury is the latest blow for the Yankees heading into this home matchup against surging Edwin Encarnacion and the Toronto Blue Jays.
New York (13-9) has taken the first two of this four-game set, but the injury-plagued club will now have to carry on without its starting catcher. Cervelli will miss a minimum of six weeks after breaking his right hand in Friday's 6-4 victory."It's disappointing, and I know it's really disappointing for him because of all that he's been through to get to this point," manager Joe Girardi said.
Starter Ivan Nova also left with pain in his right elbow. He and Cervelli could join a long list of Yankees on the disabled list that may soon also include Kevin Youkilis , who was not available for the sixth straight game because of lower back tightness.
Sabathia (3-2, 3.34 ERA) will work with one of them as he tries to improve to 9-1 over an 11-start span against Toronto (9-15). He is 6-1 with a 2.43 ERA in eight starts against the Blue Jays since joining the Yankees.
The left-hander had a three-game win streak snapped Monday when he gave up season highs of three homers and five runs over seven innings in a 5-1 defeat at Tampa Bay.
Encarnacion will try to homer for a fifth straight game for the first time. He's 8 for 32 with no homers and seven strikeouts against Sabathia.
The slugger has eight RBIs in his last four games, with three homers and four RBIs in this series in which the teams have combined to go deep nine times.
Toronto's Jose Bautista , meanwhile, is 1 for 19 with eight strikeouts against Sabathia. The struggling Bautista hit his sixth homer Friday and is batting .185.
The Blue Jays have dropped four of five, with every defeat by one or two runs."Basically what's happening is we're playing good enough to lose, we're not playing good enough to win," manager John Gibbons said.
The only current Blue Jays batter to homer off Sabathia is former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera .
Toronto third baseman Brett Lawrie is 8 for 20 against New York this year and 0 for 19 against other teams. He's 1 for 7 against Sabathia.
The Yankees have won three straight when opponents start left-handers after victories in this series with Mark Buehrle and fill-in starter Aaron Laffey going for the Blue Jays ahead of fellow southpaw J.A. Happ (2-1, 3.68) on Saturday.
Happ went 2-0 despite a 6.75 ERA in two 2012 starts against New York, although he limited Robinson Cano to a homer in six at-bats.
Cano is batting .474 during a nine-game hitting streak against Toronto, which issued a season-high 10 walks Friday.
|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 26, 2013||Ivan Nova||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow soreness|
|April 26, 2013||Francisco Cervelli||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hand|
|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|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Hitting key home runs, that comes naturally to Travis Hafner . Legging out clutch triples, now that's a new trick.
Hafner launched a three-run homer, then lumbered around the bases for a go-ahead triple in the seventh inning that sent CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 Saturday.
"The big fella can run a little bit, he's still got it in him," teammate Joba Chamberlain kidded.
It was 4-all when Hafner came up with two outs and a runner on third in the seventh.
The slugging designated hitter sent a high drive that ticked off center fielder Rajai Davis ' glove as he approached the padded wall. Davis bumped into the fence, the ball rolled away and the 35-year-old Hafner kept running, pulling in standing up.
"I don't think triple very often," he said with a smile. "Usually something like that has to happen for me to get to third."
Hafner exhaled as he stood on the bag. Captain Derek Jeter , one of several injured Yankees, laughed along with Hafner and his teammates from the dugout.
Hafner's summation on his exciting trip around the bases: "Probably tiring," he said.
This was Hafner's third triple in the last six seasons - the other two came last year with Cleveland. It was his 13th triple in 3,851 major league at-bats.
"Unbelievable," said Sabathia, Hafner's teammate with the Indians and Yankees.
Vernon Wells delivered another key hit against his former team as the Yankees beat Toronto for the third straight day. With Mariano Rivera getting a day off to rest, Chamberlain worked around a pair of one-out singles in the ninth for his first save since 2010.
"It was really nice to get out there," Chamberlain said.
Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie homered for the Blue Jays, who dropped to 1-5 on their seven-game road trip.
"You know what, right now we're not good enough. It's that simple," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
"It's frustrating. I'm giving you guys the same comments every stinking day and I'm getting a little bit tired of it," he said. "I've got no answers."
Hafner wiped out a 3-0 deficit with his sixth home run, a long drive to center field in the fourth off J.A. Happ. A few innings later, he delivered again.
A double by Robinson Cano and an RBI single by Wells evened it in the seventh against Esmil Rogers (1-2). Toronto brought in lefty reliever Brett Cecil to face the lefty-swinging Hafner with two outs and Wells on third.
Hafner's homer was his first against a lefty since last July 13 off Toronto's Ricky Romero . Hafner rarely plays against lefties, but manager Joe Girardi played a hunch.
"I just thought today was a good day to do it and he made it work," Girardi said.
Sabathia (4-2) allowed three earned runs and nine hits in eight innings. He walked none, struck out four and improved to 14-4 overall against Toronto.
Bautista hit his seventh home run, a leadoff drive in the fourth. He had been 1 for 20 lifetime against Sabathia with eight strikeouts before connecting.
The Blue Jays scored another run in the fourth. Edwin Encarnacion tagged up at third on Lawrie's fly ball to right fielder Ichiro Suzuki , and was safe at the plate when catcher Chris Stewart dropped the ball while making the tag for an error.
Bautista nearly homered again in the eighth, but center fielder Brett Gardner caught his fly at the top of the wall.
A day after Toronto pitchers walked a majors-high 10 this season, Happ's control doomed him. He walked Wells and Kevin Youkilis to open the fourth and Hafner followed with his home run.
Lawrie put Toronto ahead when he homered to begin the sixth. Lawrie started the season on the disabled list and hit his first homer of the season Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
NOTES: Rivera had pitched the previous two days and manager Joe Girardi wanted to rest baseball's career saves leader. ... Youkilis returned to the lineup after missing six games because of tightness in his lower back. ... Hafner had managed just a single in eight at-bats against lefties this year before homering off Happ. Hafner homered and tripled in the same game for the fourth time in his career. ... Blue Jays RHP R.A. Dickey (2-3, 4.66 ERA) was set to pitch Sunday vs. RHP Phil Hughes (0-2, 5.14). Dickey won the NL Cy Young Award last year with the Mets, and might draw some crosstown fans for his start at Yankee Stadium. ... Blue Jays DH-1B Adam Lind is expected to come off the paternity list Sunday.