Yankees hope to make up ground, continue series at Toronto

The New York Yankees are running out of time.

The Yankees try to put the brakes on a four-game losing streak and keep their fading postseason hopes alive on Wednesday when they continue a three-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Toronto added to New York's woes on Wednesday, as R.A. Dickey prevailed in a pitcher's duel with Andy Pettitte, and the Blue Jays eked out a 2-0 victory.

Dickey (13-12) yielded just four hits and two walks while striking out eight over seven scoreless innings. Casey Janssen struck out the side in the ninth to nail down his 31st save.

"It would be nice to continue to grow. These are important games, for me in particular. We are going to be competing next year, it is important to start getting it right now," said Dickey.

The setback dropped New York 3 1/2 games back in the American League wild card race, where Tampa Bay and Texas currently hold the top two spots after the Rangers defeated the Rays on Tuesday.

"We're getting to where we can't lose much more," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Pettitte (10-10) gave the Yankees a chance by firing 6 2/3 effective innings, with the veteran's lone mistake a solo homer to Colby Rasmus in the bottom of the fourth. Rajai Davis added a solo shot later on and finished 2-for-4 in the win, only the Blue Jays' second in their last seven overall games.

Getting the call for the Yankees on Wednesday will be righty Phil Hughes, who is just 4-13 on the season with a 5.07 ERA. Hughes returned to the rotation and started against Baltimore on Thursday, but lasted just three-plus innings despite giving up a run and three hits in his team's 6-5 win.

"After having not pitched a lot in the last couple of weeks, command was my biggest concern," Hughes said on Thursday. "It was pretty good. I didn't walk anybody and I was throwing a lot of strikes, so I was happy with that."

Hughes is 5-6 lifetime versus the Jays with a 4.84 ERA.

Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with lefty J.A. Happ, who has lost four of his last five starts. Happ's latest setback came on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, as he allowed four runs (3 earned) and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, dropping him to 4-6 to go along with a 5.15 ERA.

"I'm just trying to prove to myself more than anything," Happ said. "You want to keep the team in the game and you want to have respect. I'm thinking about the team more than I'm thinking about anybody else analyzing me. I hope to go out and finish strong, that's for sure."

Happ's struggles could continue on Wednesday, as Toronto has lost his last six starts at home. He's also 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts against the Yankees this season.

Despite Tuesday's loss, New York has won 13 of its 17 meetings with the Jays this season. In fact, since 2001, Toronto has won the head-to-head matchup with New York just one time, going 10-8 against the Yanks in '10.