Ivan Nova aims to win his second straight start and help the New York Yankees complete a three-game sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Nova gave up seven hits and a pair of runs while fanning six hitters over five innings of a home win against Arizona on Tuesday. Nova holds a stellar 17-8 road record in 36 such games (33 starts) in his career, but the right-hander has dropped his lone road start this year.
Nova is 3-2 with a 4.00 ERA in seven games (6 starts) when facing the Blue Jays. That includes a loss at Toronto in his final start last season on Sept. 27.
The end of 2012 and start of 2013 has been a tough stretch for Josh Johnson. The right-hander, who was traded from the Marlins in November to the Blue Jays, dropped seven of his last eight decisions in 2012 and is 0-1 in three starts this year. Johnson, tough, is coming off a solid seven-inning outing against the White Sox on Tuesday when he allowed four hits and a pair of runs to go with eight strikeouts. This will be his second career start against the Yankees.
Yesterday, Vernon Wells homered against his former team for the second straight day and started the winning two-run rally in the 11th inning with a single in New York's 5-3 win.
Wells led off the 11th against Aaron Loup (1-1) with his third hit of the day and Francisco Cervelli followed with a single. Ichiro Suzuki dropped down a bunt and Loup tried for the force out at third, but threw the ball past a scrambling Brett Lawrie and down the left field line to allow both runners to cross the plate for a 5-3 lead.
"(Loup's) trying to throw when Lawrie's on the run, backward, and it's a big play for us," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Mariano Rivera allowed a leadoff double to Jose Bautista in the bottom of the 11th and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a hard line drive to right field for the first out. Rivera then struck out both J.P. Arencibia and Lawrie to nail down his fifth save.
Kevin Youkilis drove in two runs for the Yankees, who have won the first two of this three-game set and nine of their last 11. Youkilis, though, left the contest with a back issue.
Melky Cabrera tied the game with a two-run single in a three-run Toronto eighth, as the Blue Jays rallied against Yankee reliever David Robertson after New York starter Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant for 7 1/3 innings.
Kuroda, coming off a shutout against Baltimore last Sunday, was charged with one run on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
New York was 11-7 versus the Blue Jays last season.