Blue Jays experiencing life on the flip side in series with Yanks
By Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- The script has been flipped. The Blue Jays are experiencing life on the other side of the coin, after dropping a back-to-back games to the Yankees while managing to muster only four combined runs against their American League East rival. After Toronto's 4-1 loss on Saturday at Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays trail in the division race by 1 1/2 games, with New York looking for a sweep in the series finale on Sunday.
A week ago, the two teams were in an opposite situation. The Blue Jays were flying high, in the middle of an 11-game winning streak, while the Yankees were experiencing the beginning of a five-game losing streak. The Blue Jays swept their way to a series victory at Yankee Stadium, posting victories of 2-1, 6-0 and 2-0. But through a pair of games this weekend, New York has given Toronto a taste of its own medicine.
"The games are very similar," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Today, they opened it up a little bit late, but with [Carlos] Beltran and [Mark] Teixiera with solo homers -- and you look back [to last week] and it was [Josh] Donaldson and [Jose] Bautista. Very similar games. Tight games."
Perhaps most evident in the Blue Jays' back-to-back losses has been a lack of offense. Toronto has managed only four runs in two games against New York so far, after putting up at least that many in each of the three games of their sweep against the A's earlier in the week.
The Blue Jays ran into a hot pitcher on Saturday, as Masahiro Tanaka tossed his first complete game of the season to shut down the normally potent Blue Jays lineup. Toronto was unable to cash in a on a golden opportunity with the bases loaded in the fifth with the top of the order due up. The Blue Jays scored a run on Donaldson's sac fly, but it was a missed opportunity considering the strength of the team's first four hitters.
"That was the best chance we had," said Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro. "We had to capitalize, and we fell short."
Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays' leadoff man and All-Star shortstop, went hitless against Tanaka and is 1-for-8 at the plate in the series. He's hitting .174 (8-for-46) in 13 games this month, but Gibbons is confident he'll break out soon.
"He's due to get hot, and he will. He's in a new place," Gibbons said. "He's been around the game a long time, one of the top players. But they all go through that."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.