Blue Jays blank Yanks to complete sweep

Blue Jays blank Yanks to complete sweep

TORONTO -- Aaron Sanchez pitched scoreless ball into the seventh inning and Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak each drove in a pair of runs, powering the Blue Jays to a 7-0 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday at Rogers Centre to complete a sweep of the three-game series.

Sanchez was in command of the slumbering Yankees lineup, which produced just three runs over the 27 innings of this series. The right-hander scattered seven hits, walked two and struck out six as the Blue Jays won for the seventh time in their last eight games. Toronto has won 13 of 17 games against the Yankees dating back to last season.

Blue Jays beginning to fire on all cylinders

"That's good for us," Sanchez said, on completing the sweep. "In the division, with it being the first one of the year. It was close for a long time. Our hitters put together some really good at-bats for us there, hats off to them."

Sanchez's scoreless start

Encarnacion and Smoak roped big hits to highlight a five-run seventh inning against the Yankees' bullpen, knocking around Kirby Yates and Nick Goody. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka started for New York and was charged with the loss -- his first of the season -- after allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits over six innings.

"I thought he did a pretty good job," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They made him work really hard, and he went six innings, and I thought he managed the game pretty good. We weren't able to do anything off Sanchez. We got some opportunities, but we weren't able to score."

Lack of offense holding down Yankees

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Five alive: With Tanaka out of the game, the Blue Jays' bats put on an offensive clinic against the Yankees' bullpen in the seventh. Encarnacion and Smoak sandwiched two-run singles around a Michael Saunders run-scoring double to give the Blue Jays a 7-0 lead. For Encarnacion, the RBIs were his team-leading 41st and 42nd of the season, while Smoak raised his average to .487 (19-for-39) against right-handed relievers.

Smoak's single plates a pair

'E' is for Ellsbury: The Yankees were scratching their heads in the sixth inning when Jacoby Ellsbury fumbled Smoak's routine line drive to center field, hitting the heel of his glove and popping out. Instead of recording the first out of the inning, Toronto had runners at the corners with none out, allowing the Blue Jays to score their second run on Russell Martin's double-play ball. 

"I got a good jump on it, it took a hard left and I just missed it," Ellsbury said. "I tracked it the whole way; thought I got a good jump. The ball took a hard left."

Ellsbury's misplay in center

Making it count: Acquired on Tuesday from the Braves for prospect Sean Ratcliffe, Jason Grilli made his Blue Jays debut in the bottom of the seventh inning with two on and two out and shut down a potential rally. Grilli got Carlos Beltran to line out sharply to center on a 2-1 fastball. The 39-year-old has posted six consecutive scoreless outings, spanning five innings. More >

"To have that kind of adrenaline rush again, I thrive off that; coming into a situation where a guy has pitched a stellar ballgame and gave us a great performance tonight," Grilli said. "Anytime you have inherited runners, it's nice to slam that door."

Grilli gets out of trouble

QUOTABLE
"It's disappointing. Surprising, disappointing, frustrating; you can throw a lot of words in there. Nobody is going to sit around and feel sorry for you when things aren't going well. We have to keep working hard, keep grinding away and hopefully things will change." -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Alex Rodriguez's fourth-inning double was the 545th of his career, moving him past Derek Jeter for sole possession of 30th place all-time. Manny Ramirez is next on the list at 547.

A-Rod's line-drive double

The Blue Jays swept the Yankees at home for the first time since Sept. 19-21, 2000.

WHAT'S NEXT
Yankees: Michael Pineda (2-6, 6.92 ERA) will make his 11th start of the season on Thursday as the Yankees travel to Detroit, making up an April 10 postponement with the Tigers at 7:40 p.m. ET. Pineda has struggled mightily in his last four starts, allowing 20 earned runs and 30 hits in 20 1/3 innings for an 8.85 ERA over that span. Matt Boyd (0-0, 2.79 ERA) goes for Detroit.

Blue Jays: Toronto will enjoy an off-day on Thursday before opening a three-game set against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday at 7:10 p.m. R.A. Dickey (2-6, 4.64 ERA) gets the call for Toronto. The 41-year-old took a no-hitter into the sixth against the Red Sox his last time out, but he ended up with a no-decision after allowing three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Former Blue Jays pitcher David Price (7-1, 5.11 ERA) will start for Boston.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.