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ARI@NYY: CC strong over eight to earn his third win

The Yankees will send their ace to the mound at Yankee Stadium on Saturday in hopes of continuing their success against the Blue Jays.

But if recent trends mean anything, the Blue Jays should come out of top. Toronto has not lost three games in a row this season despite its 9-15 record.

Trying to stop history from repeating itself will be CC Sabathia, who struggled early in his most recent outing. He allowed five earned runs, all in the first three innings, but settled down enough to pitch seven innings and strike out eight.

"CC's been a guy that seems to get stronger as the game goes on," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after that outing. "He kept us in the game."

"I felt like I was trying to place the ball and be too fluid, and worrying about my delivery," Sabathia said. "When I go out there and pitch, I need to let everything out of my mind and just go out there and battle and worry about the other team."

Opposing Sabathia and the Yankees will be J.A. Happ, who deserved better in his previous outing, against Baltimore. He allowed only one unearned run, with six strikeouts, and scattered four hits.

"I stayed away from the big part of the barrel for the most part tonight, which is good," Happ said after that start. "They got a couple of those hits to the other field, and then the tough situation -- second and third with no outs -- but I was glad to get out of there with minimum damage."

The Blue Jays will need a lengthy start from Happ. They had to turn to their relievers early in both games of this series, and the bullpen has pitched eight innings.

For the season the bullpen has pitched 216 innings, the second most in the Majors.

Going into Saturday's contest, only Casey Janssen and Esmil Rogers are fully rested; Brett Cecil should be available after last pitching on Thursday.

Happ will also be charged with trying to cool the hot-hitting Robinson Cano. The slugging second baseman has gone 12-for-34 in his last eight games, including two home runs and six RBIs.

"You want a great start when you don't have all the starting guys in the lineup," Cano said, referring to his injury-depleted team.

Part of his success comes from remaining patient at the plate.

"That's something that you learn through the years," he said. "You want to learn, the more you play, that sometimes they're not going to pitch you. They're going to pitch around you. So you wait for your pitches. You've got to sit back and look for your pitches, or you take a walk."

Jays: Encarnacion on slugging binge
Edwin Encarnacion has homered in four straight games -- the third time he's accomplished this feat -- and he hit two on Friday. In those four games, he has five hits, all of them home runs, and eight RBIs.

• The Jays have dropped eight of their last 11 and 14 of their last 20 against the Yankees dating back to last season.

• Jose Bautista has reached base safely in 22 of his last 23 contests in New York, and has reached base in all five games against the Yankees in 2013. He hit his sixth home run -- and first against the Yankees -- of the season on Friday.

• Ricky Romero is set to make his first Minor League start of the season on Saturday. Romero pitched poorly in 2012, with a 5.77 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, one year after being the team's best pitcher and an All-Star.

Yankees: Wells continues to feast on Toronto pitching
Vernon Wells is dominating his old team. Wells, who played in Toronto for 12 seasons, has gone 10-for-22, with four home runs and six RBIs this season against his former club.

• Sabathia has had a lot of success vs. Toronto, with a 13-4 record, 2.98 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 127 innings pitched against the Blue Jays in his career.

• Chris Stewart threw out two baserunners on Friday and has now thrown out four of seven total. Last year he threw out eight of 35.

Worth noting
• Following Friday's contest, Toronto has dropped five straight and 14 of its last 16 contests at Yankee Stadium dating back to 2011. Comments