TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays scored four runs in the first and Todd Redmond was glad to have them.
"It gives you a lot of confidence," the right-handed starter said. "To come out with an early lead enables you to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters."
He did just that for most of his 5 2/3 innings and with Edwin Encarnacion hitting a two-run homer the Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees 7-2 on Wednesday.
"Any loss at this point in the season is rough on us," said Yankee catcher Chris Stewart who had a passed ball and a throwing error on a called third strike to help the Blue Jays to two unearned runs in the first inning. "Time is ticking away and we don't really have much room for error."
Brett Lawrie added a two-run double for the Blue Jays, who won the rubber match of the three-game series before a crowd of 36,565 at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays improved to 3-13 on the season against the Yankees. There are three games left between the American League East rivals.
Redmond (2-2) held the Yankees to three hits, four walks and two runs while striking out seven as he earned his first win since July 7 -- and only his second in the major leagues. Redmond went 0-1 in his next seven starts before Wednesday's win.
"He's got a little deception to him because of his arm angle," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes his fastball runs, sometimes it goes up. His slider was pretty good tonight."
"In the bullpen, we worked on locating the ball down and that was the biggest thing, " Redmond said. "I was able to accomplish that."
After Redmond departed, Toronto's bullpen did its job. Aaron Loup, Sergio Santos and Darren Oliver held the Yankees to two hits the rest of the way.
Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (11-10) allowed nine hits and seven runs (five earned) in five innings, taking his third loss in a row. He is 1-4 in his past five starts.
"He's struggling a little bit right now," Girardi said. "We need him to turn it around and I believe he will."
"The movement of my ball is not there as before," Kuroda said. "I've been hit squarely. There are cases where I jam them and it ends up being a single. To not have my stuff there at this stage of the season is pretty frustrating."
Mark Reynolds had three hits and an RBI for the Yankees.
In the first inning, Toronto's Ryan Goins doubled, giving him a hit in each of his first six major league games. Adam Lind walked and Lawrie doubled both runners home. Rajai Davis was hit by a pitch.
J.P. Arencibia looked at a third strike, but the ball bounced off Stewart's glove for a passed ball. As Arencibia ran to first, Stewart's throw hit him, which allowed Lawrie and Davis to score.
"I called a slider and he threw a fastball," Stewart said. "I was expecting it to break down and away and it just stayed right over the middle of the plate and went off my glove. I tried to force the issue after that. I probably should have just eaten the ball."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons acknowledged he was afraid Arencibia might have been called out.
"You're always concerned that they're going to nail him for running out of the baseline," Gibbons said. "But he was right on the line still in that box so the timing was perfect."
Toronto increased the lead to 6-0 in the second when Encarnacion hit his 34th home run of the season after Goins singled.
The Blue Jays led 7-0 in the third after singles by Arencibia and Anthony Gose and a sacrifice fly by Jose Reyes.
The Yankees scored two in the fourth on two walks, a single by Alex Rodriguez and a double by Reynolds. Rodriguez was out trying to score on Reynolds' hit.
The double came on a drive to the wall in right that eluded Moises Sierra. But center-fielder Gose was backing up the play and threw to second baseman Goins who made the throw home.
"Goins got out, nice depth, he was alert, he's got the arm to do it," Gibbons said. "He's playing great, you know. He doesn't look in awe.
"The big thing there on the relay is that (Gose) got there backing up. That's part of your job but you don't see it all the time; he can flat-out play center field with anybody."
NOTES: Yankees 2B Eduardo Nunez (right knee) was a late scratch, and Reynolds took his place. ... New York 2B Robinson Cano (left hand bruise) sat out after being hit by a pitch in Tuesday's game. ... Blue Jays RHP Steve Delabar (right shoulder inflammation) pitched one perfect inning in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on Wednesday to start his rehab assignment. ... Both teams have Thursday off. The Blue Jays open a three-game home series against Kansas City on Friday, sending LHP Mark Buehrle (10-7, 4.08 ERA) against RHP Ervin Santana (8-7, 3.21). The Yankees open a three-game home series against Baltimore on Friday, with LHP CC Sabathia (11-11, 4.81) starting against RHP Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 3.77).