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Yankees 5, Blue Jays 0

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Hiroki Kuroda turned in another stingy outing by limiting the Toronto Blue Jays to two hits over eight innings as the New York Yankees opened a three-game series with a 5-0 victory on Friday night.

Kuroda (6-2) won for the fourth time in his last five starts by allowing just a leadoff double to Melky Cabrera on his third pitch of the night and a single to Edwin Encarnacion with one out in the seventh.

In between those hits, only one Blue Jay reached base, that coming on a Munenori Kawasaki walk in the third.

Kuroda was so efficient that he reached the eighth having thrown just 92 pitches, finished with 108 pitches. He did not allowing a runner to reach scoring position after Cabrera's leadoff double. He retired Toronto slugger Jose Bautista three different ways on sliders by striking him out in the first, getting a ground out in the fourth and inducing a pop-up to shortstop in the seventh.

The Yankees needed Kuroda to give them distance after getting a combined 5 1/3 innings the previous two nights from starters Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game with an upper back injury.

Mark Buehrle (1-3) fell to 1-9 in 15 career starts against the Yankees after allowing five runs and six hits in six-plus innings. Buehrle was knocked out after giving up three straight hits to start the seventh, and the Yankees expanded a 3-0 lead by scoring twice off reliever Aaron Loup.

After scoring 33 runs on 41 hits in their previous three games, the Blue Jays had a four-game winning streak snapped and were shut out for the fifth time this season.

New York took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Brett Gardner tripled to left field and scored on Robinson Cano's groundout. The Yankees failed to add more as Buehrle struck out Vernon Wells and Ben Francisco.

Kuroda gave up a leadoff double to Cabrera in the first inning without allowing any runs. In the third, he avoided facing Jose Bautista with a runner on base when he picked of Kawasaki. Those were the only baserunners Kuroda allowed through five, though Gardner made a running catch of a Colby Rasmus drive in front of the center field warning track.

Buehrle gave up his second hit when David Adams led off the fifth with a single up the middle. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out and made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Nix. But they could not score another run as Cano weakly grounded out to Buehrle on a full count.

The Yankees broke it open with a three-run seventh inning.

NOTES: Pettitte was placed on the disabled list with an upper back injury that is officially being termed a strained trapezius. The Yankees do not believe he will need more than the 15 days but did not want to be caught shorthanded if he started Tuesday and felt something in the early innings. Pettitte left Thursday's start with two outs in the fifth inning after feeling the muscle lock up the previous inning. "I don't see why it should be more than that," Pettitte said. "I think we're being cautious." ... New York catcher Chris Stewart had an MRI on his groin and it came out negative. He is available to serve as a backup if necessary, which is why he is not headed to the disabled list. .. Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes returned to the team after spending time rehabbing his leg injury in Long Island. He participated in pregame stretching and said he could do some jogging shortly. Reyes suffered the injury April 12 and is expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break. ... Toronto right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson (triceps) threw a side session and is expected to join Class A Dunedin for a rehab assignment next week.
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