Yankees leave Blue Jays searching for answers

Why the Blue Jays could be a factor in the 2018 playoff race

Why the Blue Jays could be a factor in the 2018 playoff race

Giancarlo Stanton homered twice, doubled and drove in four runs as NY beat Toronto, 6-1.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched six stellar innings and Tyler Wade hit a two-run double as the New York Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 4-2 on Friday, handing Toronto back-to-back losses to start the season.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) will take the mound for the team on Opening Day.

They will send veteran J.A. Happ to the hill opposite Severino after he went a somewhat respectable 10-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 25 starts a year ago. Stanton's second homer of the season came in the top of the ninth, as he absolutely crushed a Tyler Clippard offering to deep centerfield.

Pillar proved more than ready when he started hopping off third base as fellow Blue Jay Gift Ngoepe stood in with two strikes and two outs in the eighth inning and the Jays leading 4-3. Despite allowing two walks in the first inning, the Dominican native coasted through 5 ⅓ scoreless innings of one-hit baseball, striking out seven, before giving the ball over to strikeout artist Chad Green.

Before opening pitch, Dan Shulman and the Toronto Blue Jays honoured the late Roy "Doc" Halladay with a touching video tribute, jersey retirement and an on-field presentation with his two sons delivering the game ball to the pitcher's mound.

With an early lead, the 24 year-old Luis Severino would showcase why Aaron Boone and the Yankees selected him as the official ace of the staff. He throws his off-speed stuff at any time, he's got great command of it.

"Since day one I've had a man to my right - Jerry Howarth - the legendary broadcaster for the Blue Jays for 36 years, as a mentor and friend and he certainly helped me along", he told CBC's Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette.

"I talk about [Vladimir Guerrero Jr] and Bo Bichette nearly in the same breath - these kids could be the 'generational type talent, '. the future of the Toronto Blue Jays", he said.

Beyond McKinney, the Yankees bench has the depth that allows them to do things and go through things, that some other teams can not. He came to town here with Miami a few years go and he put on a pretty good show.

Just how do you pitch the lineup that led the majors in home runs (241) last season, then added the MLB home run leader in Stanton in the offseason?

More troubling for the Blue Jays than the leadoff error was the shaky game turned in at third base by the team's most valuable player, Josh Donaldson.

General manager Ross Atkins said before the game that Donaldson would DH until his "dead arm phase" subsides.

"We'll continue to work with him, continue to believe in him and continue to need him in big situations", Boone said.

"All day long, I thought he was winning pitches", Boone said.

Happ (0-1) allowed three runs - two earned - and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. He's 2-2 with a a 2.40 ERA in 13 career games against NY, including three starts. The AL ERA leader in 2016, Sanchez was limited to eight starts last season because of persistent blister issues. His next time up, Drury jumped a 1-0 fastball and ripped it into left for an RBI single. And, while he will start the final game of the series, it's worth noting that Marcus Stroman was held back by right shoulder inflammation in the beginning of Spring Training. In his career, Sanchez is 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 21 strikeouts against the Yankees. The previous player to do it against them was Rays' Wil Myers last August.

Stanton was given the silent treatment by the Yankees, except for head athletic trainer Steven Donohue, when he returned to the dugout after the second home run.

"He threw me a pitch that I liked and it went out", Solarte said.

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