With the Toronto Blue Jays reeling lately, the Yankees have done a good job of kicking them while their down, taking the first two games of this three-game set at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees claimed last night's game, 7-3, thanks to a big day at the plate from Brian McCann, who tied a career-high with five RBIs. Chase Whitley also put in his fair share of work, tossing five innings of two run ball to pick up his third straight big league victory, improving to 3-0 in seven starts.
The win pulled the Yankees to within a game-and-a-half of the Blue Jays in the American League East standings. If the Yankees are able to pull off the sweep tonight -- and they would need to beat Toronto for a 16th consecutive time in Yankee Stadium -- it would put them half a game back with the Baltimore Orioles coming to town this weekend for a trio of games.
Tonight's lineup against Toronto:
LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
DH Carlos Beltran
RF Ichiro Suzuki
2B Brian Roberts
3B Kelly Johnson
Pitching matchup preview:
David Phelps will be on the mound tonight in this series finale against the Jays. Phelps has been here, there and everywhere since taking over for Michael Pineda in the rotation back in May.
He is coming off of a win against the Oakland Athletics in which he worked 6 2/3 innings, allowing no runs and two hits with four strikeouts, snapping a four-game losing streak as he improved to 2-4 with a 4.32 ERA in nine starts.
He and the Bombers will be going up against the 23-year-old Drew Hutchinson, who will be tasked with finally ending the Jays' losing streak on the road against the Yankees. Lucky for them, Hutchinson is 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA on the road this season, tossing 60 2/3 innings and allowing 12 earned runs in nine starts.
Hutchinson is coming off of a very impressive outing against the Orioles last Friday in which he tossed seven shutout inning, giving up just six hits in a 4-0 Blue Jays victory.