The Blue Jays will look to build some momentum in the second game of a three-game set against the Yankees after winning the first, 8-7, on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
"We're in a stretch here where we've scuffled, and this is going to be another tall challenge for us in this series against the Yankees," manager John Farrell said. "We've got to set all of what has taken place to date behind us, and go about putting together a solid game plan. ... We've got to stay focused to attention to detail with executing the game in all phases because we're going to need that going against that club."
New York has won just four of its last 11 games, and manager Joe Girardi warned that his team can't afford to look past Toronto.
"The bottom line is when you play a team like this, you have to make your pitches, you have to play defense, and you have to have good at-bats, just like any other team you would face," Girardi said. We took two out of three from them up there [Aug. 10-12]. The game we lost, we didn't make our pitches."
New York should already be very familiar with their division foe, and they will be even moreso through the end of the season, facing the Jays 10 times in the final 35 games. The rest of the American League East will also have their cracks against the Yankees, in 19 of the other 25 games, and that excites Girardi.
"I think what's in front of you and what you're trying to accomplish is in your own hands," Girardi said. "I think that's an advantage to it, and you don't necessarily have to rely on anyone else. It's in your own hands, and it's your job to go out and play good baseball, and play as well as you can."
Phil Hughes takes the mound for New York on Tuesday and is coming off a loss to the White Sox in his last start. He allowed two runs in seven innings, with five hits and two walks allowed against five strikeouts.
Hughes will be up against lefty Ricky Romero, who's lost 10 times in his last 11 starts. He's allowed 51 runs in that stretch in 59 2/3 innings of work. Detroit tagged him for five runs in 5 1/3 innings his last time out.
Blue Jays: Injury uncertainties continue
Jose Bautista, who missed a month because of a wrist injury, suffered another setback Saturday by aggravating it in a game against the Orioles less than two days after coming off the disabled list.
The outfielder traveled to Cleveland to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, and the team is awaiting results from the latest MRI.
Bautista is eligible to return from the disabled list Sept. 11, but it's unclear if he'll return to the field this season.
Third baseman Brett Lawrie, who's been out since July because of an oblique injury, is still limited in his baseball activities and has not taken batting practice yet. There is still no timetable for a return.
Yankees: Pearce expected to join club in series
Steve Pearce, who was acquired from the Astros on Monday for cash considerations, is expected to join New York at some point during the club's three-game series with Toronto.
This is the third time this season that the 29-year-old is changing cities. He actually started the year in the Yankees organization, playing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but was traded in June to the Orioles. The outfielder and first baseman switched uniforms again after he was claimed off waivers by the Astros before being traded again Monday.
In 49 games in the Majors this season, Pearce hit .254 with three homers.
Southpaw Pedro Feliciano, who has yet to appear with the Yankees this season, was moved to Double-A Trenton on Monday to continue his rehab assignment. In five innings between the GCL Yankees and Class-A Tampa, Feliciano allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts.
Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova, who went on the disabled list Aug. 23, said he could resume throwing Tuesday if cleared by a doctor.
The Blue Jays have scored three or fewer runs in eight of their last 10 games.