TORONTO (AP) — The New York Yankees finally lost a game without Alex Rodriguez. Derek Jeter, however, is expected to return to the lineup.
The Yankees captain will be back Tuesday night after he was out of the lineup to get some rest as New York continues a three-game road series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
With Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with his left calf strain, the other Yankees regular on the left side of the infield did not start in Monday’s 3-2 loss. Jeter had played every day since the last off day for New York (77-48) on Aug. 5, and made the final out Monday as a pinch-hitter.
“Seventeen days in a row he’s played,” manager Joe Girardi said about Jeter. “The man needs a day off. You hate to give him a day off but we can’t have him physically break down.”
The decision made sense because the Blue Jays (65-59) started right-hander Brandon Morrow on Monday, and have left-handers scheduled to pitch the final two games. Jeter is hitting .253 against right-handers, but .333 against left-handers.
Morrow took advantage of the depleted lineup for 12 strikeouts through six innings, as the Yankees fell for the first time in 13 games without Rodriguez.
Jose Bautista homered twice for his sixth multihomer game of the season. Bautista leads the majors with 40 home runs, and is the first Toronto player to reach that mark since Carlos Delgado hit 42 in 2003.
Bautista is 14 for 37 with six homers and 12 RBIs with a .511 on-base percentage against New York this year. He leads the majors in homers (16), RBIs (39) and extra-base hits (25) since the All-Star break.
“He’s put together an unbelievable second half,” Girardi said.
The slugger was involved in an incident in the sixth inning in which both benches and bullpens emptied after New York starter Ivan Nova fired a pitch near Bautista’s head. Bautista exchanged words with Nova and took several steps toward the mound while plate umpire Jerry Meals warned both teams.
Two innings later, Bautista got his revenge with a go-ahead solo homer off David Robertson.
“Given what transpired earlier, I enjoyed it pretty good,” said Bautista, who took a slow jog around the bases after his second homer.
Tuesday’s pitching matchup features starters with 4.76 ERAs.
New York’s Dustin Moseley (3-2, 4.76) has alternated wins and losses in his five starts. He yielded four runs over five innings in Wednesday’s 9-5 victory over Detroit.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in two appearances in 2010 against the Blue Jays, including one start. Bautista is 0 for 4 against him.
Mark Rzepczynski (1-1, 4.76) will make his fifth start of the year for Toronto. He walked five over 4 1-3 innings and gave up three runs Wednesday, and did not get a decision in a 5-4 loss at Oakland.
The left-hander made two starts against the Yankees last year, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. Jeter went 3 for 5 with a homer while Nick Swisher went 3 for 4 with a homer in those games against Rzepczynski.
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