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May 9, 2022 8:22 pm

Jays hope bats wake up vs. Yankees’ strong arms

When the New York Yankees put together an 11-game winning streak, they averaged seven runs per game. The runs haven’t flowed as frequently in the past few games, but the Yankees are constantly getting strong pitching performances and are the first American League team with 20 wins.

Winners of 13 of their past 15 games, the Yankees look to put together enough offense and get another standout pitching performance Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a two-game series at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees scored 79 runs before the streak was stopped in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Toronto. The Yankees then scored five times and took two of three from the Texas Rangers when consecutive rainouts forced them to play three games in two days.

New York earned a 2-1 win Sunday and a 1-0 win Monday in the series against Texas by getting standout pitching from Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes. Cole allowed a homer to Kole Calhoun on his last pitch in the seventh inning in the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader and Cortes came within five outs of a no-hitter before allowing a single to Eli White on Monday.

New York starters own a 2.65 ERA and have allowed two earned runs or less 23 times.

“I think it’s the confidence the pitching staff instills in the offense and the confidence the offense instills in the pitching,” Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo said in an on-field interview with the YES Network. “I think as a team when our pitching staff (isn’t) bringing it the hitters step up and when the hitters aren’t bringing it, the staff steps up.”

Toronto is 5-7 in its past 12 games since getting off to a 12-6 start. Toronto has been held to three runs or less in nine of those games and was held to four hits while striking out 10 times in a 4-3 loss at Cleveland on Sunday.

Despite the recent inconsistencies of a team hitting .237, manager Charlie Montoyo is optimistic his team will start hitting more consistently soon.

“To be over .500 in this grind, I’m proud of my team, and we haven’t clicked hitting yet,” Montoyo said. “So we’re proud of our offense, our pitching and we’re going to hit. You guys know we’re going to hit.”

New York’s Luis Severino (2-0, 3.75 ERA) will start Tuesday for the Yankees and due to the rainouts, he is pitching on eight days’ rest. Severino last pitched May 1 in Kansas City when he allowed four runs (three earned) and seven hits in five innings.

Severino is 6-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 15 career appearances against the Blue Jays. He last faced Toronto April 14 when he allowed two hits in five innings and struck out Vladimir Guerrero Jr. three times in a 3-0 win in New York.

Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 4.35) will oppose the Yankees for the third time this season and is coming off his best outing of the season. He lowered his ERA from 5.52 when he allowed a homer to Joey Gallo among three hits in six innings on Wednesday.

Kikuchi is 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees and took a no-hitter into the sixth when he was with Seattle on May 8, 2019 in New York.

–Field Level Media

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