Yankees-Blue Jays Preview

The Associated Press

Having Deter Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in the lineup did little to bolster their offense, though the New York Yankees might not need much scoring with Andy Pettitte on the mound.

Pettitte will try to continue his successful run against the Toronto Blue Jays and keep the visiting Yankees from sliding back in the AL wild-card hunt Tuesday night.

New York (69-62) started both Jeter and Rodriguez for the first time this season Monday. Rodriguez hit his 650th career home run, but the pair went a combined 1 for 7 as the Yankees fell 5-2 for their eighth loss in 11 road games.

Jeter, who went 0 for 3 after missing 22 games with a calf strain, is 4 for 8 with two home runs against Tuesday's starter J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.10 ERA).

"He looked fine," manager Joe Girardi said. "Everything looked OK to me."

Robinson Cano is hitting .211 in his past 19 road games after going 0 for 4 in Monday's loss that ended a 10-game winning streak against the Blue Jays (59-73). The All-Star second baseman is batting .351 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 14 games versus Toronto this season.

The Yankees have scored 2.3 runs per game and batted .212 while dropping three of four after averaging 6.3 runs and hitting .314 during a 10-2 stretch that vaulted them back into playoff contention. They're 4 1/2 games behind Oakland for the final wild-card spot, with Cleveland and Baltimore ahead of them.

New York will attempt to generate some run support for Pettitte (9-9, 4.26), who looks to win three straight starts for the first time since his first three outings of the year.

Since going 0-3 with a 5.47 ERA during a five-start stretch, Pettitte has allowed one earned run over 12 2-3 innings to win his last two.

The left-hander has had the Blue Jays' number, going 6-1 with a 3.04 ERA in his last eight meetings. He's also gone 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA in his last seven in Toronto.

Pettitte looks to earn his third victory against Toronto this season after he gave up one run and four hits over six innings in Thursday's 5-3 home win.

He's limited Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie to a combined 2 for 20 over the past two seasons, though Rajai Davis is 9 for 17 with a home run and triple all-time in their matchups.

Pettitte might also have his hands full with Jose Reyes, who is batting .387 in his last nine games against the Yankees.

"We just need to finish this one strong so that we go to spring training with a better feeling," said Reyes of his last-place Blue Jays, who look for their first three-game winning streak since Aug. 4-6.

Happ is scheduled to make his fifth start since returning from a skull fracture and sprained knee, the result of being hit in the head by a line drive May 7 at Tampa Bay.

The left-hander hopes to bounce back after allowing four runs and five walks over 5 1-3 innings in Thursday's loss at Yankee Stadium. He had yielded three runs and three walks over 12 1-3 innings in his previous two outings.

"I've been feeling good since coming back," said Happ, who fell to 2-1 with a 5.46 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees.

Ichiro Suzuki has gone 4 for 7 with two doubles when facing Happ, but Cano (3 for 14) and Alfonso Soriano (3 for 11) have struggled.