Whitley's tough night sets tone as Yanks fall to Jays

Righty allows eight runs, six in second inning, in series-opening defeat

Whitley's tough night sets tone as Yanks fall to Jays

TORONTO -- June has proven to be a streaky month for the Yankees. After enduring the lows of a four-game losing skid and the highs that came with a pair of four-game winning streaks, the club is on the verge of losing four straight for the second time this month.

Chase Whitley took his first loss of the season on Monday night as the Yankees dropped their third straight game after an 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

The Yankees' bats again were unable to produce any meaningful offense, and the Bronx Bombers have managed only four runs in their past three games. The drought comes less than a week after they swept the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium over three games in which the Yankees put up 16 runs.

"It's up and down. It's been up and down during the course of the year," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "At times, we looked really good, and at times, we've struggled. One thing we have to do is be more consistent. That's what we have to do."

Save for a late mini-rally in ninth, the New York bats were largely silent as rookie Blue Jays hurler Marcus Stroman cruised through eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball. The 23-year-old struck out seven and walked one. His only major blemish on the evening came courtesy of Yankees cleanup man Mark Teixeira, who went deep to center field in the top of the fourth for his 13th home run.

On the other side of the ball, the Toronto offense roughed up Whitley (3-1) in what was his worst outing of the season. The rookie right-hander allowed season highs in earned runs (eight), hits (11) and walks (three) over the shortest outing of his young career (3 1/3 innings), only five days after he earned a win over the Blue Jays with a five-inning, two-run performance.

Whitley wasn't sure if facing the Blue Jays last week had anything to do with his getting knocked around on Monday.

"If they made adjustments, I have to make adjustments. That's on me," he said. "I couldn't command the ball at all like I have in the past. I got away from the game plan, and couldn't execute the pitches I wanted to throw. They're a good hitting club."

After taking an early 1-0 lead in the opening frame, the Blue Jays erupted for six runs in the second, thanks to six singles and a big three-run homer from Adam Lind, who returned to the Blue Jays' starting lineup for the first time since June 14. It was only the second time this season Whitley had allowed a homer.

"Lind is a big part of this offense," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "You take him out of our lineup, that's a big hole. ... We aren't the same without Adam in there."

The trouble started when the Blue Jays led off that inning with three straight singles from the bottom of the order. Juan Francisco, Munenori Kawasaki and Anthony Gose all reached base to load the bases with nobody out for Jose Reyes.

Reyes grounded into a forceout at second that scored Francisco to make it 2-0 Blue Jays.

Melky Cabrera then swatted a single to left field, scoring Kawasaki, before Lind came through with his homer to center field.

With Chad Jenkins in to pitch for Toronto in the ninth, the Yankees were able to put together a brief, late charge.

Francisco Cervelli drew a leadoff walk, and then Carlos Beltran singled through the hole at second base to give the Yankees two runners with nobody out. Yangervis Solarte then broke an 0-for-28 streak with an RBI single up the middle before Kelly Johnson knocked a run-scoring double to left field, making it 8-3.

"The consistency has been the biggest thing," said Girardi. "Early on, I thought we swung the bats good, then we went through some hard times, had some people out, had some people come back, then we scored some runs. And the last three days, we've struggled a little bit."

The win moved the Blue Jays 2 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees in the American League East.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.