Toronto Blue Jays (78-76) at New York Yankees (79-75)
Sunday, September 21 - 1:05 PM EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
The New York Yankees welcome back one of their stars on Sunday while another takes one more step toward retirement. Rookie phenom Masahiro Tanaka makes his first start since July 8 as the New York Yankees look to claim three of four from the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Tanaka has been working his way back from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will attempt to provide a spark for Yankees, who remained 4 1/2 games behind Kansas City in the race for the second wild card with eight to play.
Derek Jeter has collected two hits in each game thus far during his final homestand, including an RBI double during Saturday's 6-3 setback. The future Hall of Famer looks to continue that stretch versus Sunday starter Drew Hutchison, against whom he is 7-for-17 in his career. Jose Bautista continues to torment the Yankees, going deep for the eighth time on Saturday and collecting his 16th RBI of the season series.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, RSN (Toronto), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Drew Hutchison (10-12, 4.51 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (12-4, 2.51)
Hutchison suffered his first loss since Aug. 17 after being blitzed for six runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings en route to an 8-2 setback versus Baltimore on Tuesday. The 24-year-old improved to 3-3 against the Yankees after picking up victories on July 26 and Aug. 30. Hutchison allowed two runs and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings in a 6-4 triumph in July before permitting one hit and fanning nine over seven sizzling frames in a 2-0 win in the latter contest.
Tanaka, who is expected to be limited to 70-75 pitches, reported no issue after working five scoreless innings in a simulated game against instructional league hitters at the team's spring training complex on Monday. The 25-year-old Japan native defeated Toronto on two occasions this season - including an eight-strikeout performance in his major-league debut on April 4. Tanaka fanned 10 Blue Jays and allowed one run on five hits in six innings in a 3-1 victory on June 17.
1. New York C Brian McCann has slapped an RBI single against the shift in each of the last two games.
2. Toronto 1B Edwin Encarnacion is 4-for-9 with a homer and three RBIs in his last two contests. He is 3-for-5 with a double against Tanaka this season.
3. Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira exited Saturday's game with a sore right wrist, a troublesome injury that he has battled for the majority of the season.
PREDICTION: Yankees 3, Blue Jays 1