Masahiro Tanaka pitched six strong innings, Gio Urshela drove in two runs, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Sunday.
Tanaka (6-5) allowed two runs, four hits and struck out five without issuing a walk. The righty, who had three no-decisions in his past three starts, won for the first time since tossing a shutout over Tampa Bay on June 17.
Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.
The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Urshela’s two-run single to left field off Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (5-10).
Stroman, a New York native, started for the first time since June 29 after being sidelined with a left pectoral cramp. He gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out seven and walking two.
Tanaka was cruising through the first four innings before the Blue Jays tied the game at 2-2 on solo homers in the fifth. Randal Grichuk led off the inning by driving Tanaka’s fastball over the right-center field fence. It was his 16th homer of the season.
After Tanaka struck out Danny Jansen and got Teoscar Hernandez to fly out, Eric Sogard cleared the short porch in right field for his 10th home run.
In the bottom half of the inning, Urshela put the Yankees back ahead on a heads-up play when he scored on Stroman’s two-out wild pitch with Aaron Judge at the plate.
Jansen got a good carom and raced to the plate and appeared to tag out Urshela on the letters on his jersey.
However, New York challenged and got the call reversed.
Mike Tauchman’s fifth homer of the season off reliever Derek Law in the seventh inning extended the Yankees’ lead.
Blue Jays: LHP Clayton Richard (left lat strain) was placed on the 10-day injury list. Richard was pulled from Saturday’s start against New York after two innings. ... RHP Edwin Jackson (1-5, 12.43 ERA) was activated from the IL prior to Sunday’s game. He was out since June 18 because of a lower back strain.
Yankees: 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion was held out of the lineup Sunday after he was hit by a pitch on the left arm. X-rays came back negative.
HELP ON THE WAY?
RHPs Luis Severino and Dellin Betances are slated to start throwing programs Monday, after both pitchers underwent MRIs that cleared them, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday.
Both pitchers suffered lat injuries while they were working back from their right shoulder injuries earlier this season. Boone would not commit to a specific timeline as to how soon Severino and Betances will rejoin the team.
“I think we are confident (with) where they are at as far as their recovery and I think we feel like they’re in position to start this step,” Boone said.
“Now their feedback and how they feel and bounce back is always a major part of the evaluation and continuing to lay out the program. But I think there’s a kind of protocol that is followed and that they’re in position to graduate to this point.”
Boone is anxious to see how Severino comes along during the early part of the program after being at the top of the New York’s rotation last season with a record of 19-8 and a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts.
“Obviously excited about him starting tomorrow and starting the throwing program and seeing where that progresses and what it looks like at the end of this week,” Boone added.
“How is he responding; how is he feeling when he goes out there; how is he feeling when he goes out there; how is he bouncing back the next day.”
Boone also said he was not sure what type of role Severino could fill for the club, if he returns to the mound, after recent remarks by general manager Brian Cashman indicated the righty could be used as a reliever.
Blue Jays: RHP Trent Thornton (3-6, 4.85 ERA) will be on the mound for the opener of a four-game series against Boston at Fenway Park on Monday. The rookie is 0-1 in his two starts against the Red Sox this season, having allowed nine runs and 19 hits over nine innings. Rick Porcello (6-7, 5.33) is scheduled to start for Boston.
Yankees: LHP James Paxton (5-4, 4.01) faces Tampa Bay in Monday’s four-game series opener. It’s the lefty’s first start since July 7 at Tampa, where he allowed two runs in six innings. He’ll be matched up against Blake Snell (5-7, 4.70 ERA). The lefty is 3-6 with a 4.62 ERA in 15 starts against New York.