Happ pitches Blue Jays past Yankees, Sabathia in 3-1 win
NEW YORK >> In between retiring Yankees hitters, Toronto starter J.A. Happ could appreciate the moment of dueling with CC Sabathia.
"It was kind of fun, definitely, being out there — Yankee Stadium, pitching against him," Happ said after a strong seven-inning outing Thursday.
Edwin Encarnacion and Devon Travis had two-out RBIs, and the Blue Jays beat New York 3-1 to win the three-game series and wrap up a 5-2 road trip.
Sabathia was the tough-luck loser, allowing just two unearned runs. Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game since going on the disabled list May 4 with a strained right hamstring.
Happ (6-2) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks. He has given up three earned runs or fewer in 19 of his past 20 starts.
Sabathia (3-3) retired the first seven batters before an error by shortstop Didi Gregorius on Travis' grounder with one out in the third. Sabathia retired No. 9 hitter Darwin Barney, but a single by Jose Bautista and a walk to Josh Donaldson loaded the bases. Encarnacion singled to left for the 2-1 lead.
"We've been missing that for a while," manager John Gibbons said of the clutch hitting with runners in scoring position.
Travis, playing in just his second game of 2016 after offseason shoulder surgery, singled with two outs in the ninth off a 102 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman to drive in Justin Smoak for the insurance run.
"I just did my best to fight and put it in play, and thankfully it found a hole," Travis said.
Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Starlin Castro, 1 for 11 in his previous three games, hit a two-out solo homer in the first for the Yankees' only scoring.
Sabathia allowed two hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out seven to tie Chuck Finley for 23th place on the all-time list with 2,610. In two starts since coming off the disabled list, he has given up just one earned run in 13 innings.
"He did everything he needed to do to win the game," manager Joe Girardi said. "We just didn't score."
The Yankees had runners on first and second with one out in the fifth. But No. 9 hitter Austin Romine, starting in place of Mark Teixeira at first base, grounded into an inning-ending double play. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the eighth with a pinch-hit infield single and moved to second with one out, but Gavin Floyd retired Aaron Hicks and Castro to protect the lead.
Bautista's appeal of his one-game suspension for his role in the May 15 brawl with the Rangers was heard earlier Thursday. Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said before the game he felt Bautista's actions didn't warrant the punishment, suggesting no ban would have been handed out had Texas second baseman Rougned Odor not punched Bautista in the jaw after a hard takeout slide.
Asked about the Blue Jays' growing bad-boy reputation, Atkins called the players and the club "misunderstood," adding he believes opponents and fans are reacting to Toronto's "ferocious lineup" and the intensity its hitters bring to each at-bat.
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki sat out for the second straight game. He left Tuesday's loss with a sore right quadriceps.
Yankees: Teixeira missed his second straight game with a neck problem, with Girardi expecting him to sit out at least two more but hoping he won't need a DL stint. Teixeira received cortisone shots in multiple places in his neck Thursday, a day after an MRI showed inflammation but no serious damage. ... The Yankees placed LHP Chasen Shreve on the 15-day DL with a sprained shoulder joint. They also optioned INF Rob Refsnyder to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and promoted LHP Richard Bleier, releasing OF Slade Heathcott to make room for Bleier on the 40-man roster.
Yankees: New York opens a 10-game road trip at Tampa Bay on Friday when RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2-0) faces Rays RHP Chris Archer (3-5).
Blue Jays: Toronto begins a six-game home stand Friday with RHP Aaron Sanchez (4-1) on the mound against Boston's Joe Kelly (2-0).
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