YANKEES (76-40) AT BLUE JAYS (48-71)
3:07 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, YES, MLB.TV
The Toronto Blue Jays and the visiting New York Yankees have split the first two games of a four-game series as they move into the pivotal third game Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Jays hit four home runs — two by Teoscar Hernandez — Friday night in an 8-2 victory that ended the Yankees’ nine-game winning streak and evened the series.
Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette was 0-for-3 with a walk Friday to end his nine-game doubles streak and an 11-game hit streak (20-for-49, .408 batting average) to begin his career.
The Yankees expect to activate catcher Gary Sanchez from the injured list for the game Saturday.
Sanchez has been out July 24 with a left groin strain. He was 1-for-5 in two games on a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“He should be fairly good to go,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I don’t know if I’d catch him Saturday and Sunday, especially with the doubleheader Monday. So I’ll probably split those first few days up, but I’m not looking at it as easing him back in.”
Sanchez is batting .229/.299/.508 with 24 home runs and 58 RBIs in 77 games. After a strong start, he was batting .118 with one homer in 21 games from June 23 to July 23.
“Hitting’s hard, even for the great ones,” Boone said. “You never know what the immediate results are going to be, whether you come out like gangbusters or you scuffle a little bit. But I know over time he’s going to be a force for us, and that’s the expectation.”
The Yankees were 11-5 without Sanchez with Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka as catchers. Higashioka is likely to be the candidate to be optioned to make room for Sanchez.
The Blue Jays played Friday without left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and he was scheduled to be placed on the injured list with a strained left quadriceps. He suffered the injury running out an infield hit in the ninth inning Thursday.
“We just got the MRI back from Gurriel, and he will go on the IL [with a] quad strain,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said before the game Friday. “He’s moving around fine. … but then the MRI showed something. But it’s not bad. It’s a Grade 1, so it shouldn’t take that long, which is good news.”
In 79 games with Toronto this season, Gurriel is hitting .279/.331/.548 with 19 home runs and 47 RBIs.
It is not certain who will take Gurriel’s place on the 25-man roster. It is possible that right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart, who threw four runless relief innings Wednesday after being claimed off waivers July 31, at least briefly, could be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. Stewart was optioned to Buffalo after his outing. “We might recall Brock Stewart for length (from the bullpen), so that might be the move,” Montoyo said.
The Yankees were without second baseman Gleyber Torres for the third straight game Friday because of core issues.
The Yankees will use right-hander Chad Green (2-3, 4.93 ERA) as an opener for the 10th time in his 40 outings this season Saturday against Blue Jays right-hander Jacob Waguespack (3-1,4.00).
Green is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six outings (one start) against Toronto this season and 5-0, 1.62, in 19 career games (two starts).
Waguespack will make his sixth career start and eighth appearance Saturday. It will be his first start against the Yankees.
–Field Level Media