Toronto (23-23) at New York (25-20)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon May 23, 2011
  • TV: RSN, YES
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While Jose Bautista’s(notes) power this season isn’t a surprise, Curtis Granderson’s(notes) may be.

Baseball’s top home run hitters meet Monday night when Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays open a three-game road series against Granderson’s New York Yankees.

Bautista has followed his major league-leading 54-homer campaign from 2010 with 18 this year to lead all players. The Yankees (25-20) know all about how he can impact a game since he has eight homers against them since the start of last season.

Granderson is two homers behind Bautista - no other AL player besides those two has more than 12. The Yankees center fielder is on pace to shatter his career-high total of 30 set two seasons ago with Detroit.

New York is 3-2 against Toronto (23-23) this season, with Granderson going 8 for 21 with three homers and seven RBIs while Bautista has hit .313 with two home runs.

Both players went deep twice over the weekend. The Blue Jays lost two of three to Houston after a 3-2 loss Sunday while the Yankees posted a 9-3 win over the Mets to take two of three.

New York used an eight-run rally in the seventh inning to win the first edition of the Subway Series this year. Derek Jeter(notes) delivered a two-run game-tying single in the inning for his second hit of the game, leaving him 25 shy of 3,000.

“Sometimes things are contagious,” Jeter said, “and it seems like it was that inning.”

The Yankees captain is 2 for 21 against Toronto this year.

Alex Rodriguez(notes) had four hits and is 13 for 27 over his last six games. The third baseman’s .149 average against the Blue Jays since the start of 2010 is his lowest against any opponent.

Toronto is seeking to win five straight on the road for the first time since May 3-7, 2010.

The Blue Jays will have reliever Jon Rauch(notes) available again after he allowed three runs over 1 1-3 innings in appearances Friday and Saturday, and was rested Sunday. Infielder John McDonald(notes) is scheduled to rejoin the team after missing the last two games for personal reasons.

The Yankees will start Bartolo Colon(notes) (2-2, 3.16 ERA), who joined the rotation April 20 by allowing two runs over 6 2-3 innings to earn a 6-2 victory at Toronto. That was his first start since July 24, 2009.

The veteran right-hander is coming off his best outing of the year, throwing eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball Wednesday before Mariano Rivera(notes) blew a save in a 4-1, 15-inning victory at Baltimore.

Bautista has a single in five career at-bats against Colon.

Toronto’s Carlos Villanueva(notes) (1-0, 1.48) will make his first start since Aug. 17, 2009. He’s replacing Jesse Litsch(notes), placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right shoulder impingement.

Villanueva went 6-12 with a 4.81 ERA in 27 career starts with Milwaukee, the team with which he spent his first five seasons before joining Toronto this year. Manager John Farrell indicated the right-hander will be on a pitch count.

“I think every pitcher that has done both (relief and starting roles) would rather start,” Farrell told the Blue Jays’ official website. “He’s looking forward to the opportunity.”

Villanueva has thrown two scoreless innings of relief against New York this year. Granderson has a double in five at-bats against him.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

C. Villanueva StL vs. B. Colón NYM
6-4 Record 8-10
4.04 ERA 4.00
68 K 135
32 BB 40
1.26 WHIP 1.29


Monday, May 23