Happ limits Yanks as Blue Jays even series

April 13th, 2016

TORONTO -- J.A. Happ tossed six innings and allowed one run, while Ryan Goins and Michael Saunders each had a pair of doubles as the Blue Jays evened their series against the Yankees with a 7-2 victory on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

Making his first start against the Yankees since 2014, Happ allowed seven hits and walked three batters, but worked out of jams in the third, fifth and sixth innings. The veteran lefty has tossed six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in each of his first two starts this season. Dating back to last year, he has allowed two runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12 outings and is unbeaten over that stretch.

"I critique myself pretty hard sometimes, but I think the best thing about tonight was being able to make some pitches in big situations to try and minimize the damage," Happ said. "I think [Russell Martin] was great back there, and we were battling at the plate, and to add some more runs on at the end was awesome. It was a good win."

Goins finished 3-for-4 on the evening, with run scored and two RBIs. Saunders and Bautista each had a pair of hits as the Blue Jays scored more than five runs for just the second time this year.

Michael Pineda took the loss for New York, giving up three runs -- two earned -- over six innings. He also walked three batters, which was his highest total since April 28, 2011, at Detroit. For the most part, his success against Toronto continued, as he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his six career outings vs. the Blue Jays.

"I thought he threw the ball pretty well tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He gave up the two earned runs in the six innings against a pretty good offense here. I thought he did a good job."

New York, which came into the evening on a two-game winning streak, got a home run from Mark Teixeira and an RBI groundout by Aaron Hicks.

"I thought [Happ] pitched very well against us," Teixeira said. "We had some hard-hit balls and just couldn't string enough together. We couldn't get enough guys on base and get any kind of momentum."


Finishing strong: Pitching in and out of trouble all evening, Happ faced his stiffest challenge in the top of the sixth inning. After walking Chase Headley to put two men on with two out, Happ struck out shortstop Ronald Torreyes to end the threat. Torreyes entered the at-bat 2-for-2 on the evening, with hits in both the third and fifth innings.

Torreyes hot, but human: Torreyes has been with five organizations (Astros, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels) in the last 12 months, and he may have finally found a home after making New York's Opening Day roster. The diminutive utility man singled and doubled Wednesday, giving him six hits in his first seven Yankees at-bats, but he bounced a fifth-inning throw from shortstop that helped set up Toronto's third run.

"It's just part of the game. You want to make every throw to be perfect," Torreyes said. "Sometimes it doesn't happen."

Getting Goins: Goins opened the scoring in the second inning with an RBI double to the gap in right-center field off Pineda, scoring Russell Martin all the way from first base. Toronto's second baseman then punched his second double in the fifth on an opposite-field shot that went over the head of left fielder Hicks. That put a pair of runners on base, and both later came around to score on an error by Torreyes and a double play off the bat of Donaldson.

"I've had some luck go my way, but it's getting better day by day," Goins said about how he feels at the plate. "I think our whole team is getting that way. We're just having better at-bats, as you can see; we're trying to grind it out."

No relief from Nova: After losing the fifth-starter battle this spring, Ivan Nova was handed the unfamiliar role of long reliever, which he has been attempting to learn on the fly. He seems to be struggling with the adjustment, as the Blue Jays hit him hard in the eighth inning, batting around to blow the game open in a four-run eighth.

"It's different for him, but we need him to be able to get us outs," Girardi said. "I thought that was a good situation to bring him in. It didn't work out the way I wanted it to or the way he wanted it to, but we have to be able to use him in some different situations."


With a single in the first inning off Pineda, Edwin Encarnacion has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games against the Yankees.


Yankees: Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will make his second start of the season on Thursday as the Yankees wrap up their two-city road trip at 7:07 p.m. ET. Eovaldi stumbled in his first outing of the year on April 7, allowing five runs and six hits -- including a pair of homers -- to the Astros, taking a no-decision in New York's 8-5 victory.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman will look to rebound from his rough outing against the Red Sox when the Blue Jays conclude their series with the Yankees on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET. Stroman allowed five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, and picked up a no-decision in an 8-7 Blue Jays loss last Friday.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.