The New York Yankees had enough trouble with Toronto’s other hitters in the opener of this series.
The four-game set at Rogers Centre continues Friday night, with Bautista’s status unclear after a big offensive performance by the Blue Jays.
Bautista, who has 31 homers, is listed as day to day with a twisted right ankle after injuring himself on an awkward slide in Thursday’s 16-7 victory. He left after the fourth inning and was replaced at third base by John McDonald(notes).
The slugger was getting treatment after the game and did not speak to the media. Manager John Farrell said Bautista caught a spike in the dirt.
“Hopefully this isn’t a prolonged situation where he’s going to miss any length of time,” Farrell said.
Bautista went 1 for 2 with a walk before departing. His contributions were minimal on a night when Toronto (46-47) scored eight runs in the first inning to knock out Bartolo Colon(notes) and finished with season highs in runs and hits (20).
“Let’s not make too much of one of his starts,” manager Joe Girardi said about Nunez. “He played great third base the other day. That goes unnoticed when you do it the right way.”
Four relievers combined to pitch the final 7 1-3 innings for New York, which had its nine-game win streak in games immediately after the All-Star break snapped.
The Yankees (53-36) will be hoping to get some innings from Freddy Garcia(notes) (7-6, 3.13 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts. Garcia last pitched July 3 against the Mets, allowing one run over seven innings in a 3-2, 10-inning loss.
New York’s Andruw Jones(notes) went deep twice for his 42nd multihomer game, and drove in four runs. Home Run Derby champion Robinson Cano(notes) added three hits, and is batting .394 against the Blue Jays this year - with at least one hit in each of the nine meetings.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA over his last five outings, yielding three runs and three hits over eight innings with eight strikeouts last Saturday in a 5-4, 10-inning victory at Cleveland. Morrow, however, is 1-4 with a 6.87 ERA in seven home starts.