The New York Yankees are intent on forcing Boston to win the American League East and will try to keep the pressure on their bitter rival when they resume a three-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. Trailing the Red Sox by two games with two to play, New York would host Boston in a potential tiebreaker Monday.
Slugger Aaron Judge, the AL leader with 51 homers, continues to enhance his MVP credentials by extending his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games and collecting his 31st RBI in September in Friday’s 4-0 win. Greg Bird had two hits and drove in two runs to give him both a seven-game hitting and RBI streak for New York, which reached 90 wins for the first time since 2012. Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman is looking to close out his season by beating the Yankees for the second time within a week as he makes his fifth start against them in 2017. He will have a rematch with left-hander Jaime Garcia, who will be seeking to rebound from his shortest outing of the year.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (13-8, 3.06 ERA) vs. Yankees LH Jaime García (5-10, 4.41)
Stroman, who is three innings shy of reaching 200 for the second straight season, won his second start in a row by giving up three runs over 5 2/3 frames to beat the Yankees on Sunday. It was his fourth consecutive home start, including seven strong innings of one-run ball against Kansas City on Sept. 19. Stroman has made 14 starts away from home, posting a 6-2 record and 3.68 ERA.
Garcia lasted only 2 1/3 innings in Toronto on Sunday while giving up five runs on four hits to remain winless in eight starts since he was acquired by the Yankees at the trade deadline. The 31-year-old Mexican had yielded three earned runs or fewer in each of his previous six turns but has yet to make it through six innings with New York. Garcia has a 10.57 ERA in two starts this season against the Blue Jays.
1. Judge also has at least one RBI in six straight games, although his string of games with an extra-base hit was halted at eight.
2. Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson is 10-for-22 with three homers, three doubles and six RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.
3. Yankees LHP Aroldis Chapman earned his 21st save Friday and has not allowed a run in his last 10 appearances.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 5