Bronx, NY – Hiroki Kuroda shut down a red-hot Toronto lineup, and the New York Yankees continued their home mastery of the Blue Jays with a 5-0 triumph in the opener of a three-game set.
Toronto had racked up 33 runs in the last three victories of a season-high four-game win streak it brought into Friday's showdown, but mustered a mere two hits and three baserunners in Kuroda's (6-2) eight innings of work.
The veteran righty added five strikeouts in leading New York to its eighth straight win over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, where Toronto is a brutal 3-19 over its last 22 visits.
"He's had our number," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Kuroda. "He's beat us three times this year. We haven't been able to do anything with him."
David Adams, Brett Gardner and Austin Romine backed Kuroda by collecting two hits apiece, with Adams scoring twice and Gardner and Romine driving in a run. Jayson Nix added a pair of sacrifice flies to help the Yankees bounce back from consecutive home losses to Seattle in their previous series.
Mark Buehrle (1-3) was charged with all five runs allowed in six-plus innings for Toronto, with Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion accounting for all four of the Blue Jays' hits on the evening.
Kuroda yielded a double to Cabrera to start the game, then proceeded to retire 18 of the next 19 hitters until Encarnacion singled with one out in the seventh. The only Blue Jay to reach over that stretch was Munenori Kawasaki, who walked in the third, but Kuroda promptly picked off his Japanese counterpart off first.
"That's what he does, he throws strikes and keeps guys off-balance," Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells said of Kuroda. "And that slider, when it's working it's as good as anyone's."
Buehrle also gave up an extra-base hit to the first batter he faced, as Gardner laced his second pitch of the night into the gap in left center and hustled his way to a triple. The speedster crossed the plate on a soft grounder from Robinson Cano two batters afterward, giving Kuroda all the support he eventually needed.
Like Kuroda, Buehrle settled down thereafter, not surrendering another hit until Adams opened the bottom of the fifth with a single. A base hit from Romine and a walk later loaded the bases with one out, and Adams beat Cabrera's throw home on a fly ball off the bat of Nix to put New York up by a 2-0 count.
Buehrle bounced back with a 1-2-3 sixth, but failed to record an out while faltering in the seventh.
Adams began a three-run inning with a ground-rule double and Ichiro Suzuki followed with a bunt single before Romine delivered a two-base hit into the left-field corner for a 3-0 game. Aaron Loup then came on in relief and was greeted by an RBI single from Gardner, with Romine scoring on Nix's second sac fly of the night to increase the margin to 5-0.
"He pitched good if you look at it realistically," said Gibbons. "He was right in it until the end there, two runs [allowed] going into the seventh inning."
Prior to the game, the Yankees placed Andy Pettitte on the 15-day disabled list after the 40-year-old lefty strained his trapezius muscle during Thursday's 3-2 loss to Seattle ... Buehrle fell to 1-10 in 15 career starts against New York and has lost eight straight decisions to the Yankees since besting them on Apr. 10, 2004 with the White Sox ... Romine was in the lineup in place of Chris Stewart, who exited Thursday's contest as well with a groin injury ... The Yankees are now 17-0 when scoring first this season, the majors' only unbeaten team in such situations ... Adams became the first Yankee to hit safely in his first three major league games since Shelley Duncan did so in four straight in 2007.