Yankees look to bounce back against Blue Jays

STATS/TSX

NEW YORK -- Based on recent events, it would be difficult for Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons not to find time for Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr in his already potent lineup.

The young duo combined for six RBIs as Toronto (13-6) evened its series at Yankee Stadium with an 8-5 victory on Friday.

Less than 24 hours later, the Blue Jays would like to see more production from Hernandez and Gurriel Saturday afternoon in the third game of a four-game series against the New York Yankees.

Hernandez was called up last week when Josh Donaldson was placed on the disabled list, and Hernandez is picking up from last season when he hit eight homers in 27 games. After hitting a two-run homer and driving in three runs, Hernandez is hitting .370 (10-for-27) with two homers, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored while producing an OPS of 1.211 in six games.

"I think we'd be crazy not to have him in there," Gibbons said of Hernandez before Friday's game. "He has given us good at-bats, good production. He's really locked in, but he has a ton of talent too."

Gurriel was called up from Double-A New Hampshire before Friday's game and drove in three runs with a two-run single in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the fifth after falling behind in the count 0-2. He also recorded three assists while playing second base, though he can also play other infield positions.

Gurriel became the fourth player in team history to get at least three RBIs in his major league debut. The others were Pat Borders (1988), Eric Hinske (2002) and J.P. Arencibia (2010).

"I'll tell you what, it's a thrill for me," Gibbons said after the Blue Jays scored at least seven runs for the ninth time and improved to 13-6. "It's more of a thrill for him to get to the big leagues and he did it the right way."

Meanwhile, the Yankees (9-9) are at .500 for the seventh time already and cannot seem to develop any traction or rhythm so far.

While Giancarlo Stanton hit his first homer in over two weeks to go along with homers by Tyler Austin and Miguel Andujar on Friday, New York's pitchers issued nine walks in falling to 3-3 against Toronto this season.

New York's uneven start is occurring as the Boston Red Sox continue one of the best starts in baseball history, a fact that the Yankees are not necessarily focused on.

"I know they win every day, by a lot," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Friday's game. "They're playing great. But we're trying to get our own house in order, but it's hard not to notice that they're running through the league pretty well right now."

The Yankees will try to get some traction against Toronto's starter on Saturday, Marcus Stroman, who has allowed at least four runs in three consecutive outings. Stroman (0-1, 7.98 ERA) took a no-decision on April 13 in Toronto's 8-4 win at Cleveland when he allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings.

Stroman has allowed at least four runs in three straight starts for the second time in his career. He also did it May 28-June 9, 2016.

Stroman began the season by striking out eight in a no-decision against the Yankees on April 1 at home. During Toronto's 7-4 victory that day, he allowed four runs and three hits in five innings.

Stroman is 6-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 14 career starts against the Yankees. The Long Island native is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA in seven starts at Yankee Stadium.

Although he struck out Aaron Judge twice in the last meeting, the outfielder is 6-for-14 with three homers and four RBIs in their matchups.

After Sonny Gray lasted only 3 1/3 innings Friday, the Yankees hope to get some length from Saturday's starter, Jordan Montgomery, who is pitching on seven days' rest.

Montgomery (1-0, 4.70) earned his first win of the season by allowing three runs and five hits in six innings during an 8-6 win at Detroit on April 13.

Montgomery is unbeaten in his last eight starts and is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his last 12 starts since Aug. 5.

The left-hander is 1-0 with an 0.79 ERA in two career starts against Toronto, with both starts coming last year.

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