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Jun 28, 2024 2:38 am

Yankees bring season-worst skid into matchup vs. Jays

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The visiting New York Yankees will try to end a season-high, four-game losing streak Friday night when they resume their series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yankees saw their struggles continue Thursday night when they lost the opener of the four-game series 9-2.

New York, which has lost nine of its past 11 games, dropped out of first place in the American League East when Baltimore defeated the Texas Rangers 11-2 on Thursday. The Orioles moved percentage points ahead of the Yankees.

“Look, clearly we’ve got to execute better,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve got to make better decisions about pitch selection in certain situations, and we’ve got to get it right. I’m confident that we will.”

The Blue Jays have struggled for most of the season, but they hope George Springer’s pair of three-run home runs on Thursday represent the beginning of a revival for him and the team. Toronto has won two in a row after losing seven straight.

Springer went 3-for-3 with a career-best six RBIs in the series opener. That performance, at least for now, justifies the patience manager John Schneider has shown in dealing with his right fielder’s hitting problems.

“I love it,” Schneider said. “Coming off the three-hit night in Boston (on Tuesday) with the homer and then tonight, it’s what we’ve known from George. It couldn’t happen to a better guy in the spots he was in tonight. Those were just great swings. He deserves a lot of credit, him and the hitting coaches, for continuing to grind and work. He’s been a great player for so long.”

The home runs came in the first and second innings against left-hander Carlos Rodon.

The second long ball, his eighth of the season, was Springer’s 250th career home run.

“It’s felt better the last few weeks,” Springer said. “I know that things get judged by results, but I feel like I’ve hit the ball hard, I just feel like I’ve hit the ball at people a ton.

“At the end of the day, I need to keep going. I need to keep working and doing one thing a day to help this team win. Whether that’s offense, defense, a walk, getting hit by a pitch. I will do anything I can.”

Toronto’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an infield single in the fourth inning. He was 1-for-2 with a career-high three hit-by-pitches. Over his hit streak, he has gone 15-for-39 (.385) with two home runs and five RBIs.

Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres did not play for the second consecutive game. DJ LeMahieu also was given the game off.

“We’re still trying to get a couple of guys going, but I think more of late it’s just been us frankly giving up too many runs,” Boone said.

Toronto is scheduled to start left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (4-7, 4.00 ERA) on Friday. In two starts against the Yankees this season, he is 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA. In 14 career outings (12 starts) against them, he is 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA.

Kikuchi lost each of his past two outing after winning back-to-back starts.

New York will give the ball to right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.15 ERA), a former Blue Jay. Stroman is 0-0 with a 1.63 ERA in three career starts against Toronto, having given up two runs in 11 2/2 innings over two outings vs. the Blue Jays this year.

The Yankees recalled right-hander Jake Cousins from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, and he pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings against Toronto.

–Field Level Media

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