The visiting New York Yankees will be out to improve their postseason seeding while the Toronto Blue Jays hope to move closer to clinching their own playoff spot when the teams open a four-game series Monday night at Buffalo.
Both teams had streaks end on Sunday. The Yankees (31-22) lost 10-2 to the Boston Red Sox to stop a 10-game winning streak, and the Blue Jays (27-26) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 to end their skid at six.
Toronto’s losing streak started when it lost to the Yankees in the opener of their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Jays were outscored 43-15 in the series.
The Yankees clinched a postseason spot Sunday when the Seattle Mariners lost 7-4 in 11 innings to the San Diego Padres.
“We’re going to try to win games,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’d love to have those (wild card) games at home — not at the expense of anyone, but our guys should be good and ready to go.”
With the postseason in mind, the Yankees will give starters Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka an extra day of rest in the series against the Blue Jays. It means that Cole will pitch Tuesday and Tanaka on Wednesday.
The Yankees had not named a starter for Monday, but Boone said that Michael King “is ready and will play a big role.”
King (1-1, 6.75 ERA) has faced the Blue Jays twice in his career, both relief appearances this season, and is 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA over 2 2/3 innings.
The Blue Jays will start Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.91 ERA), who has been on the injured list since Aug. 18 with shoulder inflammation. “He’s ready to go, and it will give the other guys an extra day,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Shoemaker is 0-2 (5.51 ERA) in three career starts against the Yankees.
Cole and Tanaka would also have an extra day off before pitching in the playoffs.
“There’s nothing that’s exactly ideal,” Boone said. “This is what we’ve gone through with them. Giving them an extra day this time and an extra day into a playoff scenario is the best way to go with both those guys.”
The Yankees overwhelmed the Blue Jays in the three-game series in New York.
The Yankees hit 19 home runs, setting a major league record for the most home runs in a three-game span. The previous record had been 16, held by the 2019 Yankees, 2019 Washington Nationals and the 1977 Red Sox.
The Yankees hit five home runs in the fourth inning of the series finale Thursday, setting a franchise record and tying a major league record that had been done six times previously.
“In New York we were shell shocked in a way,” Blue Jays infielder Travis Shaw said. “We were playing really well, and to get beat like that three days in a row kind of opened our eyes a little bit. A little bit of humble pie. We had been playing so well. We still have a week to right the ship here and get a little momentum going into the playoffs.”
Blue Jays left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 2-for-5 with a double and one RBI Sunday. He was batting .240 (26-for-108) on Aug. 30. Since Aug. 31, he has batted .390 with six doubles, six homers and 14 RBIs. On the season, he is batting .303/ .348/.530 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs.
–Field Level Media