Yankees look to avenge series loss against Blue Jays

Field Level Media

April 12, 2021 at 7:21 am.

The New York Yankees will be out to avenge a season-opening series loss when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night to begin a three-game series at Dunedin, Fla.

The Blue Jays won two of three games from the Yankees to start the season in New York April 1-4.

Both teams have struggled since and have 4-5 records.

The Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak Sunday afternoon with an 8-4 victory in 10 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Blue Jays stopped a four-game skid string Saturday night with a 15-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in Dunedin. The Blue Jays and Angels game on Sunday was postponed by rain.

“If the guys we have, as talented as they are, are routinely going up there stringing together good at-bats, I promise you, the results are going to be there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game on Sunday. “And somebody is going to have to pay for the struggles of this first week.”

The Yankees got the go-ahead, two-out RBI single in the 10th from Rougned Odor, who was playing his first game since arriving in a trade with the Texas Rangers.

The Yankees will start right-hander Gerrit Cole (1-0, 1.46 ERA) on Monday, while left-hander Robbie Ray (2-5, 6.62 ERA in 2020) will come off the injured list (bruised elbow) to make his first start of the season.

Right-hander Tanner Roark, who was scheduled to start against the Angels on Sunday, will be moved to the bullpen as a long reliever.

“I’m not saying he won’t start again,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Roark allowed five runs in three innings to the Rangers on April 6 in his only start this season.

Ray is 1-0 with a 1.64 with 11 strikeouts in 11 innings in two career starts against the Yankees.

He had a strong spring training (2-0, 1.98 ERA) with 18 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings before bruising his left elbow when he fell on stairs while carrying his son.

“He has looked great in the bullpens and everything,” Montoyo said. “He’s ready to go.”

Cole will be facing the Blue Jays for the second time in three starts this season.

The 30-year-old will pitch on extended five days’ rest after earning his first win of the season on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, pitching seven runless innings with 13 strikeouts.

Cole struck out eight in allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings on Opening Day, April 1, against the Blue Jays. He has recorded at least seven strikeouts in each of his past 11 regular-season starts.

He is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts against Toronto. As a Yankee, he is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays’ game on Saturday was delayed by rain for more than two hours but was worth the wait from their standpoint.

Their seven-run second inning matched the Blue Jays’ run production for the three previous games combined.

Bo Bichette was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a career-high five RBI.

Montoyo had been urging patience when asked about the lack of early-season offense.

“We all needed a night like this,” Montoyo said. “Not a late night like this, but a night at the plate like that. … Great at-bats, the walks, the guys were patient.”