TORONTO — The New York Yankees evened their series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon Oscar Klefbom Jersey , but the availability of closer Aroldis Chapman for the rubber match Sunday was unknown.
Chapman struck out the first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday in the Yankees’ 8-5 victory at the Rogers Centre, but then left the mound with a recurrence of left knee tendinitis that he has dealt with for the past two months.
“I don’t think today was anything too extreme from what he’s been dealing with much of the year,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It was more me getting him out of there because of the score.”
He is considered day-to-day.
Chapman entered the game in the ninth with a four-run lead, a non-save situation.
“With a four-run lead, I didn’t want to take any chances with it,” Boone said. “He said he was fine to continue.”
Chasen Shreve replaced the left-hander and finished the game, allowing a home run to Aledmys Diaz.
The teams will go for the series win Sunday afternoon with the Yankees (57-29) sending out right-hander Domingo German (2-4, 5.37 ERA) and the Blue Jays (41-47) will start left-hander Ryan Borucki (0-1, 2.77).
The Yankees also lost center fielder Aaron Hicks to a cramp and hamstring tightness in his left leg in the fifth inning. Toronto reliever Rhiner Cruz left the game with a groin injury in the top of the ninth.
Hicks will be likely given Sunday off. No MRI has been done at this stage, so Boone hoped the day off would be enough.
“He feels like he’s OK,” Boone said.
Clint Frazier, who was called up from Triple-A, took over in left field when Hicks was removed with Brett Gardner moving from left to center.
In a twist to the game, the Yankees scored six runs and had four hits and six walks in 2 2/3 innings against Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ, a pitcher they could be interested in obtaining before the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers.
It was the second poor start in a row for Happ http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-taven-bryan-jersey , who gave up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Happ said the rumors of a trade, possibly to the Yankees, did not influence his start.
“It really doesn’t change. I was ready to pitch. I was excited to pitch, I felt good,” Happ said. “I don’t know. I think you try to flush this one as best you can and it’s going to be a tough couple of days in between, but hopefully you bounce back.
“I don’t think these last two are really indicative of how I’ve pitched the last several years, so you try to flip the script as best as you can and just move forward.
“I’m just focused on playing for the Blue Jays right now. There’s rumors out there. You never know what’s speculation, what’s true, and what has any realistic chance. I’m just trying to play and pitch. I’m happy right here and we’ll see what happens.”
German will make his 17th appearance and 11th start of the year for the Yankees. He has faced Toronto twice in his career, both in relief, going 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA.
In German’s only outing against the Blue Jays this season, he allowed two runs, two hits and four walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Borucki will make his third career outing (all starts) when he pitches against the Yankees for the first time. He allowed two runs, six hits and no walks and had eight strikeouts Monday but did not factor in the decision against the Detroit Tigers.
The Yankees are 8-4 against the Blue Jays this season and 5-3 at the Rogers Centre. They last had five wins in Toronto in 2009 when they were 6-3.
The Blue Jays are 4-4 on a homestand that ends Sunday.
What the Detroit Tigers were hoping would be a very big week in Ohio is off to a very slow start.
With the surprising Tigers’ biggest series of the season coming up this weekend, they’re not getting much time to turn things around.
The Tigers brought a five-game winning streak and plenty of confidence into a week that’s beginning with two games against the last-place Reds in Cincinnati and ending with three against the first-place Indians in Cleveland. They started out the week 2 1/2 games behind the Indians in the AL Central http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-minkah-fitzpatrick-jersey , and were talking openly of leaving Cleveland with the division lead on Sunday night.
But they’re now four games back following the Indians’ home-field wins over the Chicago White Sox on successive nights and the Tigers’ 9-5 loss to the Reds on Tuesday night. The Tigers let their game get away from them in a hurry after Joey Votto hit a grand slam in the third inning off Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (4-5).
The Tigers put up the kind of late-inning outburst that often wins games — a five-run ninth inning, against Reds reliever Wandy Peralta — but the trouble was they were down 9-0 when the inning began. Reds starter Sal Romano (4-7) shut them out on four hits over seven innings and now has allowed only one run over 15 innings in his last two starts.
“This wasn’t a good game for us,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “The other guy was throwing the ball well. … It wasn’t one of our better nights. You walk a few people (six), give up a few hits and (have) some long innings, and there you have it.”
Now, the Tigers don’t have much time to bounce back as they face an afternoon game Wednesday in Great American Ball Park, with right-hander Michael Fulmer (3-5, 4.13 ERA) going up against the Reds’ best pitcher of late in Tyler Mahle (5-6, 3.96). The Reds right-hander has permitted only two earned runs over 16 1/3 innings in his last three starts.
“Detroit, you look at their record, they’re getting after it every night,” said Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman, whose team has won five of seven. “Ron Gardenhire’s got them playing hard and you’d better play the whole nine. They’re going to come after you.”
Neither pitcher in Wednesday’s game has faced the opposing team before.
Boyd hadn’t seen the Reds before, either, but Cincinnati made quick work of him http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-marcus-davenport-jersey , chasing him after getting five runs, six hits and three walks off him while he labored through four innings, throwing 80 pitches .
Some of the Reds’ low-average hitters did the most damage against Boyd and a Tigers bullpen that was almost flawless during the winning streak. Billy Hamilton, batting .203, went 2-for-4 with a home run and Adam Duvall, batting .196, was 3-for-4. Tucker Barnhart also was 3-for-3 as the Reds collected 13 hits.
Detroit wasted a big night at the plate by leadoff hitter Leonys Martin, who went 3-for-3 with a double and walked twice while reaching base five times.
Mahle got off to a rough start this season, losing six of his first nine decisions, but he pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Kansas City Royals in a 7-0 win last Wednesday and five shutout innings against the San Diego Padres on June 1. In between, he gave up two runs to the Rockies in five innings on June 7.
“It’s nice to put a couple (of no-run outings) close together like that,” Mahle told reporters after beating the Royals. “I was able to put some zeros up there and our team is always going to be able to score at some point.”
Fulmer is coming off a strong start, beating the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Thursday while giving up only one run on five hits over seven innings. The win was Fulmer’s first at Comerica Park in nearly a year, or since July 15.
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