TORONTO -- New York Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda came within a few pitches of getting out of trouble in consecutive innings Wednesday.
However, mistakes on pitches with two outs in the second and third innings resulted in the Blue Jays putting up five runs. That was more than enough offense for Toronto right-hander Kyle Drabek.
The Blue Jays hit four home runs, and Drabek gave up just one run and three hits in seven innings, leading Toronto to an 8-1 victory.
"(Kuroda) was close to getting out of the second, getting out of the third without giving up a run," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who thought Kuroda didn't pitch badly. "And then we don't get many hits."
Edwin Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia, Jose Bautista and Kelly Johnson hit home runs for the Blue Jays (20-18) in the opener of a two-game mini-series. The victory in the first meeting of the season between the American League East rivals ended the Blue Jays' three-game losing streak.
The Yankees (20-17) have lost two in a row.
Drabek (3-4) stopped a personal four-game losing streak, allowing four walks while striking out five.
He praised the help he got from his teammates.
"It was great not only did they score all those runs but they were placed perfectly in the infield and outfield for me, which saved some hits, too. It was nice," Drabek said.
Kuroda (3-5) surrendered seven runs and eight hits in five innings plus one batter.
Arencibia, Encarnacion and Bautista homered against Kuroda. Johnson hit his 100th career home run in the seventh inning off reliever Clay Rapada.
Johnson also had an RBI single in the fourth inning.
"I almost got out of the innings, but both times I gave up home runs with two outs," Kuroda said through a translator.
Kuroda left a slider up in the zone on Arencibia's homer and a fastball up on Encarnacion's.
"I wish I could take those pitches back, but unfortunately I couldn't," he said.
Arencibia came up a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
The Yankees' run came in the sixth when Mark Teixeira drove in Robinson Cano with a two-out single. The hit was the 1,500th hit of Teixeira's career.
Arencibia hit his fourth home run of the season in the second inning when he took a full-count pitch from Kuroda deep to left-center field.
The homer also knocked in Brett Lawrie, who reached first base on a fielder's choice and then stole second. Lawrie was also making a break for third on the pitch that Arencibia took out of the park.
With two outs in the third inning, Encarnacion took a 1-0 pitch out at the deepest part of the ballpark in dead center field with two men on to put the Jays up by five.
Two batters earlier, Eric Thames got on base with a double. After Jose Bautista followed by drawing a walk, Encarnacion hit his team-leading 13th home run of the season, which brought his RBI total to 34.
The Jays added another run in the fourth when Johnson drove in Arencibia with a two-out single. Arencibia smartly slid around Yankees catcher Russell Martin after a strong throw by left fielder Raul Ibanez made the play close.
"Seven strong innings by Kyle and very good offensive night up and down the order," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "J.P. had a very good night at the plate and got us ahead with a two-run homer. (Encarnacion) continued to do what he has done all year, which is give us some of that middle-of-the-order punch. (Johnson) continues to swing the bat as he has done for quite a while."
The onslaught continued in the fifth when Bautista drove his ninth home run of the season to left field to give the Jays a seven-run lead.
NOTES: Lawrie was in the starting lineup after announcing before the game that he would appeal a four-game suspension issued by Major League Baseball. The punishment was caused by Lawrie's actions in the ninth inning Tuesday, when he slammed his helmet after being called out on strikes, and the helmet struck the plate umpire. Lawrie was ejected from Tuesday's game. ... Both clubs rested their everyday shortstops. The Yankees went with Jayson Nix in place of Derek Jeter, while the Jays went with veteran Omar Vizquel in place of Yunel Escobar. ... Vizquel, a switch hitter, was in the lineup as an extra left-handed bat against the righty Kuroda.
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