TORONTO (AP) — David Price received the Blue Jays off to a winning start in Toronto's most significant series of the season.
Price pitched seven shutout innings, Jose Bautista had two hits & the Blue Jays used a three-run first inning to beat the New York Yankees 4-2 on Monday night.
Price improved to 8-1 in 10 starts with Toronto since being acquired in a July 30 trade with Detroit.
p>''Unbelievable,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ''Trades don't always work out right. This one has worked out right.''
Toronto stretched its lead in the AL East to 3 1-2 games in the opener of a three-game showdown between the division's top teams.
With 13 games remaining, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn't downplay the importance of the final two games of the series.
''I think they're as significant as any games we've played all year when you talk approximately trying to win the division,'' Girardi said.
The Blue Jays snapped a two-game losing streak, avoiding their first three-game skid since July 8-10.
Facing the Yankees for the fourth time since joining the Blue Jays, Price improved to 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA against New York with Toronto.
''That's a very satisfactory team, one of the most storied franchises,'' Price said. ''They're tough to pitch against, so it's always pleasant to beat them.''
Price (17-5) received a scare when Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a liner right back at the head of the star left-hander. Price managed to snare the liner, & smiled in relief as he flipped the ball to third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price struts backwards after catching a pop fly from N …
''It kind of caught me,'' Price said.
Roberto Osuna overcame Greg Bird's two-out solo homer in the ninth to earn his 17th save.
Toronto jumped on Adam Warren (6-7) with a three-run first. Ben Revere singled, Donaldson was hit by a pitch & Bautista grounded an RBI single to center before the runners advanced on a wild pitch. Donaldson scored on Edwin Encarnacion's RBI groundout & Justin Smoak capped the rally with an RBI double.
Warren said he was ''too amped up'' in the opening inning.
''I was trying to make the best pitch in the world instead of trusting my stuff,'' he said.
Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price catches a pop fly from New York Yankees' cat …
New York used an error, a single & a walk to load the bases with one out in the third. Alex Rodriguez struck out on a 3-2 pitch after narrowly missing a two-run double on a ball that landed just foul in right, & Price ended the inning by getting Brian McCann to fly out.
''(Price) made his pitches when he had to,'' McCann said. ''He was satisfactory tonight. He was working both sides of the plate, cutting it & sinking it to both sides & keeping guys off balance.''
Those were the first two in a stretch of 14 consecutive outs by Price, who finished his outing by fanning Chase Headley & Bird, then applauded the sellout crowd of 47,648 as he walked off the field.
Toronto extended its lead to 4-0 on Russell Martin's bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Andrew Bailey in the seventh.
Aaron Sanchez walked Didi Gregorius to commence the eighth, then left after Dustin Ackley's single advanced Gregorius to third. Brett Cecil came on & gave up an RBI single to Ellsbury, yet escaped the jam by striking out Brett Gardner, Rodriguez & McCann. Cecil called them the three biggest outs of his career.
New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts to striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays during six …
''You can't donate him enough credit,'' Gibbons said of Cecil. ''He's one of the better relievers in baseball.''
Limited to 85 pitches, Warren left after striking out Kevin Pillar to commence the fourth. He allowed three runs & five hits, walked one & struck out five.
The Blue Jays won for the first time since Aug. 16 when scoring fewer than five runs.
Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi still has inflammation in his right elbow & won't be able to resume throwing until next week, Girardi said. The delay means Eovaldi's hopes of being part of a potential playoff rotation are in doubt, yet he could pitch out of the bullpen approximately a week after he resumes throwing. … RHP Masahiro Tanaka (right hamstring) worked out & played catch at Yankee Stadium & remains on track to rejoin the rotation next week, Girardi said.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (4-3, 3.12 ERA) will be facing the Blue Jays for the third time in seven starts. He's 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in his previous two meetings with Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (13-8, 3.14 ERA) pitched eight shutout innings to beat Atlanta in his most recent outing. He's 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA in four starts against the Yankees this season.
Sports & RecreationBaseballDavid PriceNew York YankeesToronto