Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson remind Yankees why they are defending AL East champs

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson connected on another one of his powerful, line drive home runs that encapsulated why the Toronto Blue Jays were trouble for the New York Yankees all season.

With the Yankees up two runs in the fifth, the pitch left Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi's hand at 88 mph. Donaldson volleyed it back at 107 mph and over the bunting that covers the front of second tier that sits well beyond the 400-foot sign in center field to tie the game.

The three-run home run, calculated at 445-feet, once again demonstrated why the Blue Jays are the new beast of the AL East, while the Yankees may not have a roster that fully matches up.

To put it more succinctly, and specifically after Thursday's 4-2 loss to Toronto, Eovladi has to mature into a starter that takes a two-run lead and runs with it. Granted, that is much easier when you are not facing the Blue Jays' lineup.

Eovaldi, Michael Pineda or Luis Severino likely must improve over what they did last year if the Yankees are going to be better this year than the defending American League East champs.

On Thursday, Troy Tulowitzki added another homer off Eovaldi as the Blue Jays took two-of-three from the Yankees. Like everything else in this young season, which will have its numerous ups and downs for all teams, what you imagined on paper looked true on the new bouncy turf at Rogers Centre.

It is only a week in, so this is all based on preconceived notions, especially since the Jays (5-5) are playing .500 baseball, just like the Yankees (4-4).

The Jays, though, have stars that are younger. Donaldson is 30, while Tulowitzki is 31. The rest of the middle of the order -- 35-year-old Jose Bautista and 33-year-old Edwin Encarnacion -- match up well with the 40-year-old Alex Rodriguez, the 35-year-old Mark Teixeira, the 32-year-old Brian McCann and the 38-year-old Carlos Beltran.

The Rogers Centre rocked at the end of last year. With both rosters a year older, it is pretty easy to imagine that happening again this year.