Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon Trace McSorley Jersey , but the availability of closer Aroldis Chapman for the rubber match Sunday was unknown.
Chapman struck out the first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday in the Yankees’ 8-5 victory at the Rogers Centre, but then left the mound with a recurrence of left knee tendinitis that he has dealt with for the past two months.
“I don’t think today was anything too extreme from what he’s been dealing with much of the year,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It was more me getting him out of there because of the score.”
He is considered day-to-day.
Chapman entered the game in the ninth with a four-run lead, a non-save situation.
“With a four-run lead, I didn’t want to take any chances with it,” Boone said. “He said he was fine to continue.”
Chasen Shreve replaced the left-hander and finished the game, allowing a home run to Aledmys Diaz.
The teams will go for the series win Sunday afternoon with the Yankees (57-29) sending out right-hander Domingo German (2-4, 5.37 ERA) and the Blue Jays (41-47) will start left-hander Ryan Borucki (0-1, 2.77).
The Yankees also lost center fielder Aaron Hicks to a cramp and hamstring tightness in his left leg in the fifth inning. Toronto reliever Rhiner Cruz left the game with a groin injury in the top of the ninth.
Hicks will be likely given Sunday off. No MRI has been done at this stage, so Boone hoped the day off would be enough.
“He feels like he’s OK,” Boone said.
Clint Frazier, who was called up from Triple-A, took over in left field when Hicks was removed with Brett Gardner moving from left to center.
In a twist to the game, the Yankees scored six runs and had four hits and six walks in 2 2/3 innings against Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ, a pitcher they could be interested in obtaining before the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers.
It was the second poor start in a row for Happ Ed Oliver Jersey , who gave up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Happ said the rumors of a trade, possibly to the Yankees, did not influence his start.
“It really doesn’t change. I was ready to pitch. I was excited to pitch, I felt good,” Happ said. “I don’t know. I think you try to flush this one as best you can and it’s going to be a tough couple of days in between, but hopefully you bounce back.
“I don’t think these last two are really indicative of how I’ve pitched the last several years, so you try to flip the script as best as you can and just move forward.
“I’m just focused on playing for the Blue Jays right now. There’s rumors out there. You never know what’s speculation, what’s true, and what has any realistic chance. I’m just trying to play and pitch. I’m happy right here and we’ll see what happens.”
German will make his 17th appearance and 11th start of the year for the Yankees. He has faced Toronto twice in his career, both in relief, going 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA.
In German’s only outing against the Blue Jays this season, he allowed two runs, two hits and four walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Borucki will make his third career outing (all starts) when he pitches against the Yankees for the first time. He allowed two runs, six hits and no walks and had eight strikeouts Monday but did not factor in the decision against the Detroit Tigers.
The Yankees are 8-4 against the Blue Jays this season and 5-3 at the Rogers Centre. They last had five wins in Toronto in 2009 when they were 6-3.
The Blue Jays are 4-4 on a homestand that ends Sunday.
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