YANKEES (38-20) AT BLUE JAYS (21-38)
7:07 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, TVAS, YES, MLB.TV
The New York Yankees will begin a six-game road trip when they play the opener of a three-game series Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
At the same time, a group of Yankees will have hit the road as well, but the destination was Tampa, Fla., where Aaron Judge (strained oblique), Dellin Betances (shoulder impingement) and Greg Bird (torn plantar fascia) will continue their rehabilitation programs, joining Giancarlo Stanton (calf strain).
Didi Gregorius (elbow surgery) is on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is expected to rejoin the Yankees in Cleveland on Friday.
The Yankees also are still without right-handed pitcher Luis Severino (rotator cuff inflammation).
That is the way it has been this season for the Yankees, but they will be in first place in the American League East when they visit the Blue Jays.
Despite losing to the Boston Red Sox 8-5 on Sunday, the Yankees are 30-10 since April 18 and 15-4 since May 11.
The Blue Jays are returning from a 0-6 trip after being swept in three-game series by the Tampa Bay Rays and Colorado Rockies, who won 5-1 on Sunday.
Toronto has lost 10 of its past 11 games and 24 of the past 31.
New York will send out right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (3-4, 3.20 ERA) against Toronto left-hander Clayton Richard (0-1, 3.38) in the series opener.
The Yankees have done it with a lineup that has produced some surprising results with the likes of DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela.
The return of Gregorius means shifting Gleyber Torres from shortstop to second base and, with Urshela performing so well at third, it could mean that LeMahieu will play several positions, including first base.
The Yankees have used former Blue Jay Kendrys Morales as a backup at first base behind Luke Voit.
Gregorius will be eased into the lineup.
“With Didi initially, it’s going to be two out of three (starts), three out of four,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It’s kind of giving a guy a day (off) every five, six, seven, eight days, and keeping everyone fresh and playing.”
Tanaka will be making his 13th start of the season on Tuesday, pitching on six days’ rest. He has a 2.16 ERA in his past four starts. Tanaka is 11-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 17 career starts against the Blue Jays and is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts in Toronto.
Richard will make his third start of the season. He has faced the Yankees once in his career, Sept. 17, 2008, in New York as a member of the Chicago White Sox when he allowed two runs, five hits and two walks while striking out five over 6 2/3 innings in taking the loss.
The Blue Jays were held to two or fewer runs three times on their winless road trip. They have scored two or fewer runs in 15 of their past 29 games and an American League-high 23 times for the season.
“We have to make an adjustment all around,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I’m OK with being aggressive, but you’ve got to get a good pitch. (Opposing pitchers) can see it, they can feel it.”
It was the first time the Blue Jays have gone winless on a trip of six or more games since 2009.
–Field Level Media