<
>

Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 0

NEW YORK -- Well, now they feel even worse.

Ivan Nova made one huge mistake, David Price didn't make any, and that proved to be the difference between their teams Saturday afternoon as the surging Toronto Blue Jays moved even closer to the New York Yankees in the American League East standings.

Justin Smoak belted a grand slam off Nova in the sixth inning, Price dominated a team that typically owns him, and the Blue Jays stopped the Yankees 6-0 to close within 2.5 games of their division rivals.

Toronto (60-52) has won seven straight and improved to 10-1 since Troy Tulowitzki made his Blue Jays debut after being acquired by the team in a blockbuster trade. In that span, Toronto has gained 5.5 games on New York (61-48) in the standings.

In his previous two starts against the Yankees, Price had surrendered 16 runs on 22 hits while recording just 13 outs. On Saturday afternoon, he threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven.

In two starts as a Blue Jay, Price has struck out 18 and surrendered just one earned run on six hits in 15 innings. So far, so good. The Yankees, who came in second to Toronto in runs scored, has totaled just four runs in their past four games after totaling 90 in their previous 10.

"Everyone knows what our offense is capable of doing," Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista said following Friday night's 2-1, 10-inning victory. "We've got David Price going tomorrow. I can't think they feel good right now going home."

Nope.

Oh No-va: Nova's curveball was sharp for the majority of his outing, but he hung a breaking ball to Smoak, who deposited the pitch into the right-field seats. It was Nova's 102nd and final offering of the day. Nova had matched zeroes with Price in the first five innings, striking out six -- all with his hook.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had Adam Warren warming up at the time but allowed Nova to face Smoak after the right-hander walked Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion and gave up a sharp single to Bautista. It's hard to blame Girardi given how well Nova had been dealing, but his decision to keep him in backfired. It was Smoak's first career slam.

2-Lo: Tulowitzki, who once controversially attended a game at new Yankee Stadium as a fan to see idol Derek Jeter play, added a solo home run -- his third as a Blue Jay -- in the seventh. Tulowitzki wears No. 2 in honor of Jeter. His acquisition has clearly helped galvanize Toronto.

Up next: The Yankees and Blue Jays wrap up their three-game series Sunday afternoon, with Masahiro Tanaka (8-4, 3.84 ERA) and right-hander Marco Estrada (9-6, 3.40). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.