If the Toronto Blue Jays plan to turn around their disappointing season, they may want to figure out how to beat the New York Yankees .
New York seeks an eighth victory in nine meetings this season and sixth straight at Yankee Stadium over the Blue Jays, who get starter Brandon Morrow back Saturday afternoon.
Toronto (17-25) appeared to be gaining momentum after a dreadful start, outscoring opponents 36-15 during a four-game winning streak heading into Friday's series opener.
Last-place Toronto, nine games behind the AL East-leading Yankees, has lost five straight to New York, all in the Bronx.
The Blue Jays will look to get back on track with help from Morrow (1-2, 4.69 ERA), who has been dealing with back and neck soreness and hasn't pitched since giving up two runs and striking out eight in eight innings of a 10-2 win over Seattle on May 5.
He was slated to start Tuesday against San Francisco, but the team decided to push him back again.
"It was not my decision to do that. They are being extra cautious," Morrow told the team's official website. "(I'll) take the extra couple of days (rest)."
The right-hander had gone 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA in his previous four starts versus the Yankees before allowing seven runs - five earned - in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-4 loss April 19.
Lyle Overbay , who had some of the best seasons of his career with Toronto from 2006-10, homered off Morrow in that contest and has hit safely in six of the seven games he's played against his former team this season.
Vernon Wells , another former long-time Blue Jay, hit .440 with three homers in the first six meetings of 2013 but is 0 for 4 in each of the last two.
New York will look to provide some more run support for David Phelps , who will be making his third career start against Toronto.
Phelps (1-2, 4.33) has a 3.44 ERA in three starts this season after suffering a tough-luck 1-0 loss to Cleveland on Monday, going 6 2-3 innings and allowing the game's only run on a solo homer in the first.
The right-hander received only two runs of support in six innings of his previous start, which the Yankees won 3-2 over Colorado on May 8."(Run support) hasn't been a problem," Phelps said. "We've got a great group of guys in there - guys who have done it and guys who have had great careers. There are going to be games they pick us up and there are going to be games we pick them up."
Phelps is 1-0 with a 4.57 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances versus the Blue Jays. He gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 2-1 win in his last start against them Sept. 19, but he's allowed four runs and walked four in seven innings over two relief outings versus Toronto this season.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|May 11, 2013||Rajai Davis||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
|May 10, 2013||Rajai Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained oblique|
|May 08, 2013||J.A. Happ||15-Day DL||Head contusion|
|April 29, 2013||Josh Johnson||15-Day DL||Right triceps inflammation|
|April 22, 2013||Maicer Izturis||Day-to-Day||Sore hamstring|
|April 14, 2013||Sergio Santos||15-Day DL||Right triceps strain|
|New York Yankees|
|May 17, 2013||Andy Pettitte||15-Day DL||Strained left trapezius muscle|
|May 16, 2013||Andy Pettitte||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight left trapezius|
|May 16, 2013||Chris Stewart||Day-to-Day||Left groin injury|
|May 06, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||15-Day DL||Left ribcage strain|
|May 05, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||Day-to-Day||Left game - tightness in left ribcage|
|May 03, 2013||David Robertson||Day-to-Day||Sore left hamstring|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi has proved to be quite adept at lineup juggling and position shuffling during an injury plagued first two months. Still, there's one player he thinks he would be unable to do without: Robinson Cano .
The All-Star second baseman hit a pair of two-run homers to back a solid effort by David Phelps , and New York beat the Toronto Blue Jays for the ninth straight time at Yankee Stadium, 7-2 Saturday.
"I'm glad that's not a moving part," Girardi said. "He's not someone you can replace."
Phelps (2-2) struck out eight while allowing one run in a season-high seven innings, helping New York beat the Blue Jays for the eighth time in nine games this season.
Cano connected off Brandon Morrow with two outs in the third after Brett Gardner drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single. Cano also hit one off Morrow (1-3) with two away in the fifth, a shot that gave him his second multihomer game of the year. He has 12 such games for his career.
"I felt like I threw a lot better than what the scoreboard indicated," Morrow said, "but just that, you know, New York's Robinson Cano , he was the whole ballgame."
Travis Hafner returned to the Yankees' lineup after missing five games because of right shoulder inflammation and hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning.
The AL East's top team will send ace CC Sabathia to the mound Sunday with a chance to complete its second sweep of Toronto in the Bronx in three weeks. The Yankees took four straight from April 25-28. The Blue Jays counter with NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
Toronto has lost 23 of its last 28 games at Yankee Stadium.
"Yankee Stadium is always a tough place to play, regardless," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They've taken it to us pretty good here."
Making his fourth start in place of the injured Ivan Nova , Phelps was at his best with runners on base. In the first, he walked Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion but picked Bautista off second base and struck out J.P. Arencibia to end the inning. With runners on first and second in the third, Phelps got Melky Cabrera to ground into a double play. After again walking Bautista, he struck out Encarnacion with a high fastball for the third out.
The Blue Jays cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth. After Adam Lind had the first of his two doubles, Colby Rasmus hit a sharp liner that Curtis Granderson , playing right field for the first time in his big league career, got spun around on and Lind scored. But Phelps struck out Maicer Izturis to limit the damage.
"I was making pitches when I needed to," Phelps said. "I was all over the place today."
Phelps was greeted on the field just in front of the dugout with a handshake from Girardi after a 1-2-3 seventh. Phelps yielded six hits and walked three.
David Robertson gave up Encarnacion's 12th homer in a rainy eighth inning.
Morrow had his start pushed back from Wednesday because of neck and back tightness, and the rest appeared to have served him well early. He retired six in a row before Jayson Nix singled to start the third.
With two outs, Gardner singled to center field and third base coach Rob Thomson signaled Nix home with a feverish windmill of his right arm. Nix slid in before the throw arrived.
Cano then sent the next pitch on the shortest possible journey out of the ballpark, just clearing the fence down the right-field line. Cano hit his 12th of the year in the fifth with a no-doubter to right-center, driving in Austin Romine , who singled.
"That was a good game," Cano said.
Morrow was lifted after throwing 75 pitches in five innings. He allowed seven hits and five runs.
NOTES: Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, at the stadium for fan photo day, said he was pleasantly surprised but "not shocked" by New York's early success, considering all the injuries. ... New York acquired INF Reid Brignac from Colorado for cash. He was recently designated for assignment by the Rockies. ... Gibbons said LHP J.A. Happ (skull fracture, knee) is still sidelined because of the knee injury he sustained when he fell to the turf after being hit in the head by a line drive and is not near pitching again. Gibbons said Happ's head is fine. ... Blue Jays RHP Josh Johnson (triceps) will make his first rehab start on Monday for Class-A Dunedin. ... Cabrera doubled for the fifth straight game, a career high.