New York (55-35) at Toronto (48-44)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 11, 2003
  • TV: WCBS, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays are both coming off losing series.

Now, they’ll both be looking to improve their recent play as they open a weekend series at SkyDome.

The Yankees lost two of three to the Cleveland Indians, including 3-2 in 10 innings on Thursday. It was New York’s first season series loss at Cleveland since Jacobs Field opened in 1994.

Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano had two hits apiece for New York, which had won nine straight series in Cleveland.

“We had opportunities and we hit into some double plays,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “It’s frustrating because we pitched well. It’s a bad loss.”

The Yankees, losers of five of eight after winning eight straight, return to Toronto for the first time since sweeping a season-opening three-game set March 31 to April 2.

The Blue Jays are coming off a three-game sweep by the visiting Boston Red Sox. One day after squandering a four-run lead in an 8-7 loss, Toronto lost 7-1 on Thursday.

Vernon Wells hit his 22nd homer and Blue Jays starter Cory Lidle lost his fourth straight start. Lidle gave up seven runs on nine hits and four walks in five-plus innings to the Red Sox, who lead the majors in batting average, runs, hits, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

The fading Blue Jays led the majors in those categories last month, but they’ve lost 10 of 12, including the first three of 12 straight games against the Red Sox and Yankees—the two teams ahead of them in the AL East.

The Red Sox swept Toronto for the first time since May 27-29, 2002. The Blue Jays are now eight games behind first-place New York and six behind Boston.

“We’re in a bit of a slump. We’ve gone away from our approach,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “We might be mentally exhausted. We played so well for so long. Maybe it took its toll.”

STANDINGS: Yankees - 1st place, AL East. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 8 GB, AL East.

YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Andy Pettitte (10-6, 4.51 ERA). The veteran left-hander is making his fourth start against Toronto this season, going 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in the previous three. Pettitte allowed six hits in seven scoreless innings of a 10-1 win on April 1, but then pitched poorly in the next two outings against them, giving up 12 earned runs and 18 hits in eight innings combined.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: John Wasdin (no record). The 30-year-old right-hander will make his first major league appearance since 2001. Wasdin was acquired from Pittsburgh on Tuesday and will replace the struggling Doug Davis in the rotation. Wasdin went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 starts for Triple-A Nashville.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Yankees - Hideki Matsui, .300 avg.; Jasom Giambi, 23 HRs; Matsui and Giambi, 65 RBIs; Soriano, 72 runs and 25 SBs. Blue Jays - Carlos Delgado, .310 avg., 28 HRs, 94 RBIs and 74 runs; Orlando Hudson, 5 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Yankees, 6-5.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Yankees - With RF Raul Mondesi in a 2-for-29 slump, Torre plans to use Karim Garcia, a left-handed hitter, instead of Mondesi against right-handers through this weekend. … 2B Soriano was picked off twice Thursday, at first in the first inning, and at second in the sixth. … 3B Robin Ventura is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, and has three hits in his last 34. Blue Jays - A starter has a win in only one of Toronto’s last 16 games. … 1B Delgado is 4-for-7 with two homers and six RBIs against LHP Pettitte this season. For his career, he is 17-for-42 (.405) with five homers and 15 RBIs against Pettitte. … OF Shannon Stewart is 21-for-47 (.447) against Pettitte, including 5-for-8 this season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Yankees - 30-16 on the road; Blue Jays - 22-22 at home.

INJURIES: Yankees - 1B/DH Nick Johnson (hand), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Antonio Osuna (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - INF Dave Berg (fatigue), 15-day DL; RHP Cliff Politte (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder surgery), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Pettitte NYY vs. J. Wasdin StL
21-8 Record 0-1
4.02 ERA 23.40
180 K 5
50 BB 4
1.33 WHIP 4.00