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New York Yankees (69-63) at Toronto Blue Jays (67-66)
Friday, August 29 - 7:07 PM EST
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The ongoing pursuit of an American League wild card berth will be front and center Friday when the New York Yankees visit the Toronto Blue Jays for the first of three games. New York suffered a 3-2 walk-off loss in Detroit on Thursday afternoon, falling three games behind the Tigers and the Seattle Mariners, who are tied for the second wild-card spot. The Yankees scored two runs, one with the benefit of an error, in the final 15 innings of the series.
Toronto is only 7-16 in August after a 5-2 win over Boston on Wednesday, a slide that has the one-time AL East leaders 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers and Mariners. Jose Bautista has homered in consecutive games for the Blue Jays, but fellow slugger Edwin Encarnacion has just one in 11 games since coming off the disabled list. The Yankees won five of the first six meetings this season, but Toronto has taken four of the last six.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, MLB Network, YES (New York), SNET (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees LH Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.37 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.41)
Capuano is winless in six starts since joining the Yankees while posting a 4.21 ERA and recording 37 strikeouts against seven walks in 36 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs and six hits while fanning five in six frames against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, recording his third quality start with New York. Capuano's first outing after signing with the Yankees in July saw him let up two runs in six innings against Toronto.
Buehrle put a stop, at least momentarily, to his second-half swoon with a quality start against Tampa Bay on Saturday when he yielded three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs in three innings at Yankee Stadium on July 25, falling to 1-12 with a 6.15 ERA in 19 career starts versus New York. The 35-year-old has given up 34 hits in 19 innings over four starts this month.
1. Yankees RF Ichiro Suzuki is 25-for-58 in his career versus Buehrle.
2. Blue Jays CF Colby Rasmus has missed two straight games due to illness.
3. Six of Toronto's last 16 games have been decided in extra innings.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4