Blue Jays' bats topple Tanaka, Yanks in season opener

Blue Jays' bats topple Tanaka, Yanks in season opener

NEW YORK -- Edwin Encarnacion homered and Russell Martin drove in a pair of runs as the Blue Jays knocked around Masahiro Tanaka and celebrated a 6-1 Opening Day victory on Monday at Yankee Stadium.

Toronto hung a five-run third inning on Tanaka, who leaned heavily on his offspeed pitches as he attempts to pitch through a partial tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament. The right-hander needed 82 pitches to get through four frames, forcing the Yankees to go to the bullpen early.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tanaka's troubles: Grabbing the honors of Opening Day starter from CC Sabathia, Tanaka pitched well through his first two innings before struggling in a five-run third. After a single and walk, Tanaka crossed in front of third baseman Chase Headley on a Jose Reyes sacrifice bunt, and Headley's throw was air-mailed down the right-field line, allowing Kevin Pillar to score the Blue Jays' first run.

Tanaka fans six Blue Jays

Martin followed with a two-run single through the over-shifted right side of the infield, and Encarnacion clubbed a two-run homer to left field. Having all but abandoned his four-seam fastball this spring, Tanaka sat mostly at 90-91 mph and maxed out at 93 mph. Encarnacion's homer was hit off a 90-mph two-seamer. More »

Martin's two-run single

Hutchison cruises: Drew Hutchison was in command of the Yankees' lineup, holding New York hitless until Brian McCann singled with two outs in the fourth. The youngest Opening Day starter in Blue Jays history, the 24-year-old Hutchison permitted just Brett Gardner's sixth-inning homer among three hits over six innings, walking two and striking out three. More »

Hutchison strikes out three

A-Rod returns: Alex Rodriguez showed good plate discipline all spring and worked a walk in his first big league plate appearance since Sept. 25, 2013, becoming the Yankees' first baserunner of the season. He singled off Hutchison in the fifth, giving him 2,940 career hits. Rodriguez was mostly cheered in pregame introductions, receiving the loudest reaction from the crowd. More »

A-Rod collects first hit of 2015

Welcome to The Show: Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis looked pretty relaxed on Opening Day despite making his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium. Travis walked in his first at-bat and then hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning. He became the first Blue Jays player since J.P. Arencibia to record a homer with his first hit. Travis also became the first rookie second baseman to start Opening Day for the Blue Jays since Mike Sharperson in 1987. More »

Travis belts first career homer

QUOTABLE
"He's a cool cat. He comes out there, you give him the ball, and he's just staring at you with a little smile, a little grin on his face. He's a special guy, he's got the arm, he can pitch, but he's got a low heartbeat, and that's really going to help him." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on right-hander Miguel Castro, who made his big league debut with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief

Castro fans McCann in debut

"I'm not going to make excuses. He's capable of pitching better than today, and he will. I think you'll see it as long as he stays healthy, and I believe right now he is healthy." -- Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, on Tanaka

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Yankees made a conscious effort to get younger during the offseason, and they were successful, according to research performed by the Elias Sports Bureau. The Bombers' average Opening Day age of 30 years, 33 days is their youngest since 1996 (29 years, 299 days).

The Blue Jays' Opening Day lineup featured two Canadians -- Dalton Pompey and Martin -- for the first time in club history. The last Major League team to have at least two Canadian-born players in their Opening Day starting lineup were the Washington Senators in 1946, with Jeff Heath and Sherry Robertson.

WHAT'S NEXT
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays enjoy an off-day on Tuesday before knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (14-13, 3.71 ERA in 2014) takes the mound against the Yankees on Wednesday night at 7:05 ET.

Yankees: Michael Pineda draws the start vs. the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. More »

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.