By HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Hiroki Kuroda pitched two-hit ball for eight dominant innings and the New York Yankees again beat Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-0 on Friday night.
Austin Romine and Brett Gardner had run-scoring hits, Robinson Cano hit an RBI g
rounder and Jayson Nix had two sacrifice flies in dropping Buehrle to 1-10 in 15 starts against the Yankees. The left-hander hasn’t beaten New York since April 10, 2004, when he was with the Chicago White Sox.
The AL East-leading Yankees defeated last-place Toronto for the fifth straight time this season in New York and for the seventh time in eight games overall.
Kuroda (6-2) struck out five and walked one in cooling off a club that had scored 33 runs in its previous three games and had won a season-high four in a row.
The Yankees most consistent starter since the start of last season, Kuroda won for the fourth time in five starts. He is 2-0 in three starts against the Blue Jays this year _ matching up each time against Buehrle _ allowing four runs in 21 1-3 innings.
He gave up a leadoff double to Melky Cabrera and didn’t allow another hit until Edwin Encarnacion’s one-out single in the seventh. Between the two hits, Kuroda faced the minimum, picking off Munenori Kawasaki after a third-inning walk.
Preston Claiborne finished the four-hitter.
Kuroda helped himself get out of the first inning unscathed by snaring J.P. Arencibia’s liner. Fans cheered and laughed at the fortunate catch when the replay of Kuroda sticking out his glove for the ball was shown on the video board in center field. Kuroda also made a nice play for the first out of the second, bounding off the mound to field Adam Lind’s tapper.
The impressive outing was big for New York, which placed left-hander Andy Pettitte on the disabled list before the game with a strained left trapezius muscle in his upper back. Pettitte was the 13th Yankees player to land on the DL this season.
Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a triple and scored on Cano’s grounder to second. Buehrle settled down, allowing only Nix’s third-inning walk before rookie David Adams singled leading off the fifth.
Romine singled with one out and Gardner walked to load the bases before Nix’s fly to left made it 2-0.
Aaron Loup relieved Buehrle after the first three batters in the sixth had hits, including an RBI double by Romine. Gardner slapped an opposite-field single past diving third baseman Brett Lawrie with the infield in, and Nix followed with a long fly to center that upped the lead to five runs.
Buehrle yielded five runs and six hits in six-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.
NOTES: RHP Joba Chamberlain (right oblique strain) played long toss at Yankee Stadium. He is scheduled for a bullpen session Sunday. …The Yankees recalled Vidal Nuno from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Blue Jays RHP Josh Johnson (triceps) threw a side session. Manager John Gibbons said he felt good. He will go to the Blue Jays’ complex in Dunedin, Fla., next week and will make a minor league rehab start. … Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan (60-day DL, shoulder) is going to move to Triple-A Buffalo to continue his rehab. He was with Class-A Dunedin. … RHP Brandon Morrow (1-2), who had his start Wednesday pushed back because of back and neck issues, is scheduled to get the ball against the Yankees Saturday. RHP David Phelps (1-2) is set to start for New York.
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