Wang, who is 1-1 in three starts since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list with a sore shoulder, is hoping to help the Yankees bounce back from a 7-4 loss to Toronto on Saturday. New York, which had won five straight and 10 of its previous 11 games, slipped back into a first-place tie with Boston in the AL East with eight games to play. The Red Sox beat Baltimore 4-3 on Saturday.
After Sunday, the Yankees will embark on a season-ending seven-game road trip, including three huge games at Fenway Park next weekend that more than likely will decide whether they win an eighth straight AL East title. If necessary, the teams could wind up playing a one-game playoff for the division crown at Yankee Stadium next Monday.
Wang, who has won seven of his first 11 big league decisions, will try to make sure the Yankees hit the road with some much-needed momentum.
The 25-year-old native of Taiwan pitched eight strong innings Monday, helping New York rebound from a 6-5 loss to Toronto with a 3-2 win over Baltimore in the opener of this seven-game homestand.
Wang did not receive a decision after allowing two runs and seven hits, striking out four and walking one.
“He was great. He’s been like that the whole year. It’s a win, a win for the team—but I wish he had won it,” said Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who picked up the victory on Bubba Crosby’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth after pitching a scoreless top half of the inning.
The Blue Jays, pushing to finish the season at .500 or better, suffered a 5-0 loss in Friday’s series opener, but put up seven runs in the first two innings Sunday. Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske each drove in two runs for Toronto, who figure to play a big hand in deciding the East.
After leaving New York, the Blue Jays head to Boston for a four-game series with the Red Sox, while the Yankees go to Baltimore for four games.
“The focus is always on this division. We can disrupt some things,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.