Andy Pettitte has shown no signs of rust in his return from injury for the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
The 40-year-old left-hander looks for a third consecutive win while trying to continue his recent success against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday at Rogers Centre.
Pettitte (5-3, 2.71 ERA) has allowed 11 hits over 11 scoreless innings to win his first two starts since missing almost three months with a broken ankle.
"I love this guy. There's nothing that fazes him,'' teammate Nick Swisher said. "You can only just look at that and be like, 'Man, I want to be like that.'''
Pettitte gave up seven hits in six innings but was not totally satisfied after Monday's 6-3 win at Minnesota.
"I'm happy to get through it, happy to give us a good start,'' Pettitte said. "It's just there's definitely some room for me to improve."
In his first start back from the disabled list Sept. 19, Pettitte allowed four hits in five innings of a 4-2 home win over Toronto in the opener of a doubleheader. He is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA in five starts against the Blue Jays since losing to them July 6, 2009.
After being held to five hits in a 6-0 loss at Toronto on Thursday, New York (91-66) maintained its one-game division lead over Baltimore with an 11-4 rout Friday.
"This is the type of baseball that I enjoy,'' said catcher and Ontario native Russell Martin, who hit a three-run homer. "It's high intensity. This is why you play the game.''
Martin is batting .212 on the season but has set a career high with 20 homers. He is 6 for 12 with two home runs and four RBIs in his last three games.
"Just trying to make a bad season look better,'' said Martin, batting .299 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 19 contests. "It's September, it's time to get going.''
The Yankees could be in for another big effort against Ricky Romero (9-14, 5.76), who is 0-5 with a 4.23 ERA in his last seven starts in the series. The left-hander walked five in six innings but only allowed one run in a 2-1 loss at New York in the nightcap of the doubleheader Sept. 19.
Romero was 0-13 with a 7.42 ERA in his previous 15 starts before he earned a win despite giving up four runs, four walks and eight hits in five innings of a 9-5 victory at Baltimore on Monday.
"Good for him,'' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It's been a long time since Ricky's had a W.''
The end of the season likely can't come soon enough for the Blue Jays (69-88), who have lost 13 of 18. Their latest defeat came hours after infielder Omar Vizquel apologized to his teammates for telling a local newspaper the club wasn't doing enough to correct repeated mistakes by its players.
Adam Lind hit a two-run homer and Rajai Davis had four hits Friday for Toronto, which had 12 hits but went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Davis is 10 for 22 (.455) in his last six games, while Lind is 8 for 18 (.444) in his last five.
- Andy Pettitte
- Toronto Blue Jays
- New York Yankees
- Russell Martin