Ricky Romero once again tries to end a lengthy losing streak on Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays continue a three-game series with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Romero, an All-Star last season, has lost his last three starts, his last 10 decisions and hasn't won since beating the Miami Marlins back on June 22. His last win against an American League team came against Chicago on June 5.
"I definitely haven't done my job this year," Romero said. "I'm going to continue to work hard and get ready for my next start. Just try to end on a good note - that's all I can do now. It's been a nightmare of a year."
Romero's latest loss may have been his worst. Against the Detroit Tigers last Tuesday, he allowed five runs and seven hits, while walking a career-high eight batters without recording a strike out in 5 1/3 innings.
He's pitched to a 7.69 ERA since picking up his last win.
Romero has lost to the Yankees twice during his slide and is just 3-6 lifetime against them with a 5.63 ERA in 12 starts.
Toronto ended a seven-game losing streak in the Bronx on Monday, as Mike McCoy took advantage of an errant pick-off throw from Derek Lowe and hustled home later in the 11th inning on Adeiny Hechavarria's groundout to boost the Blue Jays to an 8-7 win.
Colby Rasmus belted the go-ahead three-run homer off Rafael Soriano with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, but Derek Jeter tied it leading off the bottom half with a solo shot off Casey Janssen.
"He's been so good all year," Jeter said of Soriano. "That home run, you have to tip your cap to them."
Yorvit Torrealba singled to start the 11th against Lowe (8-11). McCoy entered as a pinch-runner and went to third when Lowe's throw to first was low and skipped past Eric Chavez, who failed to get his glove down. The ball caromed down the right field line.
After Moises Sierra struck out, Hechavarria hit a dribbler toward third base. Jayson Nix charged and threw to Chavez for the second out, but the return throw home was high and late, as McCoy slid in safely to help the Blue Jays snap a season-high seven-game losing streak.
"We continued to have good at-bats for the most part tonight," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We had much better swings than we had been taking of late. I was just real pleased with the way guys competed all the way to the end."
Robinson Cano belted a pair of solo homers and Nick Swisher added a two-run shot, but the AL East leaders lost for the fifth time in seven contests. Their lead in the division stands at 3 1/2 games over Baltimore.
To make matters worse for the Yankees, first baseman Mark Teixeira left the game with a strained calf and will be out a minimum of a week and could be sidelined for two.
New York will hand the ball on Tuesday to righty Phil Hughes, who has lost three of his last four starts. He pitched well enough to get the win on Wednesday in Chicago, but still absorbed the loss, despite allowing two runs in seven innings and fell to 12-11 on the year to go along with a 4.15 ERA.
A return home could get him on track, as he is 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his last six home starts.
Hughes was hit hard for seven runs in only four innings in losing to the Jays the last time he faced them and is 3-5 in 20 games (13 starts) against them with a 4.95 ERA.
The Yanks have won five of nine from the Jays this season.