Cory Lidle has already caused quite a stir for the team he left and the team he’s now a part of.
The veteran right-hander was acquired by the Yankees (63-41) on Sunday from Philadelphia as part of the Bobby Abreu deal. Lidle’s inclusion in the trade has been questioned by many in New York who are not certain he’ll step in as the team’s fifth starter, and general manager Brian Cashman has been forced to defend him.
“Over the last few years, I haven’t had a clubhouse that expected to win with me,” Lidle said. “On days I was pitching, it was almost a coin flip as to whether the guys behind me were going to be there to play 100 percent.
“I know that’s not going to be the deal here in New York. That’s the reason I’m most excited to come over here. I think I’ll fit in well and be able to take my game to the next level.”
Those comments got him in trouble with the Phillies, especially reliever Arthur Rhodes, who called Lidle a “scab” for crossing the picket line during the strike in 1995 and described him as a player who spent too much time flying his airplane and gambling.
Lidle was 8-7 with a 4.74 ERA in 21 starts for Philadelphia this season, but went 4-0 with a 3.58 ERA in his last four outings.
He’s 2-3 with a 6.09 ERA in six career starts against the Blue Jays, the team he pitched for in 2003.
New York is seeking its first three-game home sweep of Toronto (57-50) since April 23-25, 1999, after a 7-2 victory on Wednesday. Chien-Ming Wang won his fifth straight start with eight scoreless innings and Alex Rodriguez had two hits to key a six-run sixth inning.
The Yankees have won seven of their last nine games and remained percentage points ahead of Boston for first place in the AL East.
Shortstop Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He’s 22-for-44 with 11 runs over that span.
Abreu, who went 0-for-3 with a walk in his debut for New York on Tuesday, notched his first two hits with the Yankees. Abreu was moved up to the No. 3 spot in the batting order after hitting fifth in the series opener.
Toronto dropped its season-high fourth straight to fall to 2-7 on a 10-game road trip. The Blue Jays’ starters have posted a 7.05 ERA and have lasted past the sixth inning just twice on the trip.
Left fielder Reed Johnson is expected to be back in the lineup after a scheduled day off Wednesday. Johnson is hitting .357 (15-for-42) over his last nine games.
The Blue Jays will send Shaun Marcum (1-0, 4.81) to the mound Thursday for his fourth career start. Marcum is 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA in his first three starts this year.
The right-hander’s lone career victory came against the Yankees on July 23 when he surrendered three runs and seven hits over a season high-tying five innings in a 13-5 win.