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|10:07 AM PT11:07 AM MT12:07 PM CT1:07 PM ET13:07 ET17:07 GMT1:07 10:07 AM MST12:07 PM EST12:37 PM VEN21:07 UAE12:07 PM CT, April 1, 2018
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 29,091
Yankees hope to avoid more injuries against Blue Jays
TORONTO -- The New York Yankees still have chance to win three of four games in their opening series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Just the same, they will be glad to leave the Rogers Centre after the series finale Sunday afternoon.
Not only did the Yankees lose for the first time this season, 5-3 on Saturday afternoon after opening the season with two wins, their injuries continued to mount.
Rookie left fielder Billy McKinney, who was called up from Triple-A on Friday because Aaron Hicks was put on the disabled list after being injured on Opening Day, ran into the left-field wall on Josh Donaldson's double in the bottom of the first and left the game.
McKinney suffered an AC sprain of the left shoulder. X-rays were negative.
"Billy is probably (out) at least a few weeks," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
McKinney was put on the disabled list and outfielder Miguel Andujar was recalled from Triple A.
In the sixth inning, right-handed reliever Adam Warren left the game with a bruised right ankle after he was hit by a drive hit by Aledmys Diaz. X-rays were negative.
Warren will be re-evaluated before a decision is made about a possible DL stint.
The Blue Jays won the game with two runs in the eighth inning. Yangervis Solarte led off the inning with his first homer of the season against Yankee reliever Dellin Betances. Kevin Pillar scored the other run when he stole home after singling with one out and stealing second and third.
That overcame two home runs from Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin, a two-run blast and a solo shot.
"A little peek into the strength of Tyler Austin right there," Boone said.
The Blue Jays will send out Marcus Stroman on Sunday to try to gain a split in the series. The Yankees will start right-hander Sonny Gray.
Stroman was 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA in five starts against the Yankees last season. In 13 career starts against New York, he is 6-4 with a 3.19 ERA.
The right-hander had a late start in spring training because of shoulder inflammation. Otherwise, he was expected to be the Opening Day starter.
In two official spring training starts, Stroman was 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA.
Gray is 4-3 with a 2.47 ERA in eight career starts against the Blue Jays. At the Rogers Centre, he is 2-3 with a 2.32 ERA in five starts.
In four spring training starts, Gray was 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA. He also threw six innings in a minor-league intrasquad game March 20.
Toronto struggled offensively in the first two games, with a total of seven hits and three runs.
The Blue Jays had nine hits Saturday, but there is still is a question about how well they will be able produce runs. As a result, the running game shown by Pillar could become a bigger part of Toronto's arsenal.
Pillar executed the first straight steal of home by a Blue Jays player since Aaron Hill on May 29, 2007, against the Seattle Mariners.
"I've never seen it with a guy in the stretch, so that's a first," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Big run too. He stole three that inning. That's pretty cool. It caught me off guard. But you could see him coming off third base and it didn't look normal. Glad he did it. I'd love to take credit for it, but I can't."
The Blue Jays center fielder became the first player in franchise history to steal three bases in one inning. It also was his first three-steal game.
Pillar could not recall pulling off a straight steal of home before.
"There was a guy who did it during a spring training game and me and (left fielder Curtis) Granderson were talking about how it's not done enough," Pillar said. "And, obviously, it's a huge gamble, but sometimes when runs are tough to come by, especially early on in the year, you have to go out there and make some stuff happen.
"Fortunately for me, he threw it away, but that's the element of surprise, a little panic sets in and it's a play you don't see very often and one you're not necessarily prepared for."
Updated March 31, 2018
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