NEW YORK (AP) Pushing their best hitters to the top of the batting order has not worked out yet for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion combined to go 1 for 10 in Tuesday night's 6-0 loss to the New York Yankees, leaving them with a .224 batting average (13 for 58) and 11 RBIs in five games since manager John Gibbons shuffled his lineup.
''Well, the other strategy wasn't working. It's as simple as that,'' Gibbons said before the game. ''Get your top guys up there in the first inning.''
A resurgent Nathan Eovaldi (5-2) retired the side in order and allowed two hits in six innings to win his fifth straight decision. Three pitchers followed with hitless relief.
Last-place Toronto dropped to 22-25, but Gibbons lasted until the end for just the third time in nine games. He was ejected from three and served a three-game suspension for his role in a brawl against Texas.
''These guys can't win without me out there,'' Gibbons said playfully. ''But the big problem is they can't win with me, either.''
Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left early in this one, coming out in the bottom of the seventh with a right leg injury sustained when he stole second in the top of the inning.
''My quad tightened up a little bit and grabbed me,'' he said. ''I felt like I needed to get out there. Otherwise, I could've done something I didn't want to do, put myself in jeopardy.''
Making his 250th major league start, R.A. Dickey (2-6) dropped to 1-6 in nine appearances since winning his opener at Tampa Bay. The knuckleballer gave up four runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two.
''By my standards, I've been pitching pretty well this month,'' he said. ''It just seems like weird things occur when guys get on base. A run here, a run there, and next thing you know your outing looks a lot worse than it really is.''
Dickey aggravated his surgically repaired right knee while falling as he covered first base on Dustin Ackley's leadoff infield single in the seventh.
''My knee bent funny trying to get to that bag quick, and the knee that I had repaired in the offseason, I just felt something inside there,'' he said.
Carlos Beltran drove in a first-inning run when he beat Tulowitzki's relay throw from second on a grounder to avoid what would have been an inning-ending double play and allow Jacoby Ellsbury to sprint home from third. Ellsbury tripled leading off when Bautista made an ill-advised attempt for a diving backhand catch, allowing the ball to roll to the right-field scoreboard.
''Off the bat, I didn't think I had a chance,'' Bautista said. ''Then I saw the flight of the ball and thought I did, and it was knuckling a little bit and it was going away from me. Took a chance, and it didn't work out.''
Beltran homered into the right-field second deck in the fourth, his 10th this season. Austin Romine chased Dickey with an RBI double in the seventh, and Ellsbury followed with a run-scoring infield hit against Joe Biagini. Chase Headley added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, hitting right-handed against switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, and Didi Gregorius had an RBI single.
Down in the middle innings, the Blue Jays felt pressure to score given the Yankees had a rested trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman waiting in the bullpen.
''You don't feel good. Nobody's invincible, but they're probably as close to it as you can be,'' Gibbons said. ''You're definitely aware of it, and you need to score early.''
Bautista's appeal of his one-game suspension for his role in the brawl with the Rangers is to be heard Thursday by Major League Baseball executive John McHale Jr.
Toronto changed its rotation and will have LHP J.A. Happ start Thursday's series finale and RHP Aaron Sanchez pitch the homestand opener against Boston.
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (offseason left shoulder surgery) was 1 for 5 in his ninth game of a minor league rehab assignment, his fifth at Triple-A Buffalo. ''You want to make sure he's seeing enough breaking balls,'' Gibbons said. ''You jump the gun too soon, you don't want him to get off to a struggle.''
RHP Ivan Nova (3-1) is slated to start for the Yankees on five days' rest, and Marco Estrada (1-2) goes to the mound for the Blue Jays. Nova is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in three starts since joining the rotation.