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Preview: Blue Jays (53-48) at Yankees (52-47)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Date: August 20, 2013 7:05 PM EDT

With the drama surrounding New York's third baseman unlikely to go away anytime soon, Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees are trying to keep their focus on the field.

New York tries to keep rolling in Tuesday's doubleheader against the last-place Toronto Blue Jays, losers of nine straight in the Bronx.

The 38-year-old Rodriguez has given the Yankees (64-59) a huge left since coming off the disabled list Aug. 5, going 12 for 32 (.375) with two homers and six RBIs during the club's 6-2 run.

Rodriguez came up especially big in Sunday's 9-6 win at Boston. After getting hit by a Ryan Dempster fastball in the second inning, Rodriguez responded with his 649th career homer in the sixth to spark a four-run rally.


"Whether you like me or hate me, what's wrong is wrong. That was unprofessional and silly," he said of getting plunked. "Today kind of brought us together."

Besides his suspension, Rodriguez is at odds with Yankees management over the more than $80 million he is owned through 2017. Rodriguez's lawyer also declined Major League Baseball's challenge to make public evidence that led to the slugger's suspension.

"I'm not sure how I would feel if I was on a different team, but Alex is my teammate and obviously I'm glad to have him back in the room," Brett Gardner told MLB's official website. "We know that we're at a point in the season where we've got to play every game like it's our last."

The Yankees try to take advantage of playing the Blue Jays (57-67) in New York, where they've won 18 of 20, including nine straight by a 47-25 margin. They've also won 19 of 25 in the series overall.

Toronto dropped two of three at Tampa Bay over the weekend, falling 2-1 in 10 innings on Sunday. Edwin Encarnacion hit his team-leading 31st homer, but the Blue Jays suffered their seventh walkoff loss and eighth in extras.

"If you're going to play in prime time, you've got to win those games," manager John Gibbons said.

Taking the mound for New York in Game 1 is Ivan Nova (6-4, 2.99 ERA), who is 4-2 with a 1.89 ERA in his last seven starts. The right-hander allowed a season-high 10 hits but managed to limit the damage Wednesday, yielding three runs in 7 1-3 innings in an 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Nova, 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in four career home starts versus Toronto, will square off against Esmil Rogers (3-7, 4.91). The right-hander had posted a 14.59 ERA in losing a season-high three consecutive starts before throwing six innings of one-run ball in Wednesday's 4-3, 10-inning win over Boston.

The Yankees hope to see Phil Hughes (4-12, 4.97) get back on track in Game 2. The right-hander is looking to snap a career-worst five-game skid after yielding three runs in six innings in Thursday's 8-4 loss to the Angels.

Mark Buehrle (9-7, 4.29), meanwhile, has gone 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA over a five-start stretch. He allowed 10 hits but only gave up one run in seven innings in a 2-1 win over Boston on Thursday.

"I'm just trying to get on a roll right now," he said. "I'm going out there trying to compete and trying to win."

Buehrle has gone 1-10 versus New York while compiling a 6.28 ERA - his highest mark against any team. He was tagged for five runs in six innings in a 5-0 road loss May 17, dropping to 0-8 with an 8.01 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Yankees.

Rodriguez is 8 for 33 with just one extra-base hit against Buehrle.

While Yankees captain Derek Jeter, on the DL with a strained calf, won't be activated when first eligible Tuesday, Toronto's Jose Reyes (right knee) could return following a two-game absence.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Blue Jays at Yankees
Tue, Aug 20 Final 2 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
Blue Jays at Yankees
Wed, Aug 21 Final 2 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps
Blue Jays at Yankees
Thu, Aug 22 Final 3 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  +170   -120   9 
 NYY  -190   +100   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  +175   -115   9 
 NYY  -205   -105   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  26%   40%   79% 
 NYY  74%   60%   21% 

 May 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 0 Under: 0 
 NYY 0 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 May 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 2 Over: 9 
 NYY 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 17, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 0 Under: 5 
 NYY 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 28, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 2 Under: 5 
 NYY 3 Cover: +103 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 27, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 4 Over: 9 
 NYY 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 26, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 4 Over: 10 
 NYY 6 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 25, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 3 Push: 8 
 NYY 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 21, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 NYY 4 Over: 12 
 TOR 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 20, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 NYY 5 Cover: +100 
 TOR 3 Under: 8 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 NYY 9 Cover: +113 
 TOR 4 Over: 13 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 Tuesday, Aug 20
    Blue Jays at Yankees
1:05 PM EDT
    Rays at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
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7:05 PM EDT
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7:10 PM EDT
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7:10 PM EDT
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7:10 PM EDT
    Astros at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Cubs
8:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
    Mariners at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Pirates at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
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