Bronx, NY – Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Francisco Cervelli all homered as the New York Yankees overcame an early deficit to record a 5-3 victory over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a four-game series.
Cano's three-run blast in the bottom of the third inning staked New York to a 4-3 lead that Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankee bullpen made stand to deal the struggling Blue Jays a fifth loss in seven games.
Kuroda (3-1) allowed homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie that put Toronto ahead 3-0 after 1 1/2 innings, but didn't give up a run over the remainder of his six-inning stint before three New York relievers finished off the win with three scoreless frames.
Encarnacion finished with two RBI and Lawrie went 2-for-4 for the Blue Jays. Mark Buehrle (1-1) served up all three Yankee homers and permitted five runs total over a 5 1/3-inning stint.
After falling behind after Kuroda's early trouble, the Yankees took Buehrle deep in three consecutive innings to move in front.
Wells got New York on the board by beginning the bottom of the second with a mammoth shot that cleared the center-field wall and landed into Monument Park, and Cano put the Yanks ahead with a three-run blast into the seats in right. The All-Star second baseman's seventh homer of the season came after Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner both reached on one-out singles.
"He's a great hitter, and I think that's why this game is kind of frustrating at times. You make pitches and they get hits," Buehrle said of Cano. "I'd love to have it back now, but at the time, I got it in there, threw it where I wanted to, and he hit. Nothing I can do about it."
Cervelli extended the lead to 5-3 by belting Buehrle's full-count offering into the left-field stands to start the fourth.
Toronto got four of its seven hits in the first inning and jumped ahead after Encarnacion followed a walk to Jose Bautista with a drive that landed just inside the foul pole in left. Lawrie made it a 3-0 game after breaking an 0- for-10 skid with his first homer of the season to open up the second.
Kuroda settled down afterward, setting down 15 of the final 17 batters he faced after Lawrie's shot. Toronto recorded only hit over that span, a double from Munenori Kawasaki in the second.
"I think he started to take a little more time and throw his pitches down," Cervelli said.
The Blue Jays then managed only one baserunner against the combination of Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, with Rivera fanning two during a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his seventh save of the season.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was ejected by second base umpire Jeff Kellogg in the bottom of the seventh after New York's Ben Francisco was called safe on a bunt attempt ... Buehrle fell to 1-9 in 14 career starts against the Yankees, with his lone win over New York coming in 2004 with the White Sox ... Wells' homer ended a string of 80 consecutive innings of not allowing a long ball by Toronto pitchers ... The Blue Jays placed first baseman Adam Lind on the paternity list prior to the game while recalling pitcher Brad Lincoln from Triple-A Buffalo.