Both starting pitchers aim to improve on their previous starts when the visiting Toronto Blue Jays play the New York Yankees on Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game series
The Yankees won 3-2 Saturday afternoon on an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth by pinch hitter DJ LeMahieu
Right-hander Kevin Gausman (1-2, 3.65 ERA) will try to shake off an unusually poor start Monday against the host Houston Astros.
The Yankees will start right-hander Clarke Schmidt (0-1, 8.79), whose struggles continued Tuesday against the visiting Los Angeles Angels
Gausman allowed seven runs in the first inning -- and eight (seven earned) over 4 2/3 innings -- in a 9-2 loss in Houston.
"They came out aggressive," Gausman said afterward. "They were taking pitches, but it was more me throwing some uncompetitive splitters early in the game. I definitely fed into that. Then I got into bad counts and had to throw strikes. They kind of eliminated an off-speed pitch because I couldn't throw it for strikes. I kind of put myself in a hole there right out of the gate."
Gausman knows what he must do.
"I just need to pitch better, be able to slow down that inning and not let it snowball the way that it did," he said. "I'm also confident in the work that I've done to this point. I feel pretty confident that I'm not going to go out and give up seven runs every inning."
In 27 career appearances (21 starts) against the Yankees, Gausman is 8-7 with a 3.49 ERA
Schmidt, who is 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA in three career relief appearances against Toronto, allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the Angels on Tuesday.
He has not pitched beyond the fourth inning in his four starts this season.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the start on Tuesday that Schmidt will be given more time to work things out
"I mean, he's one of our starters right now," Boone said when asked if he considered putting Schmidt in lower-leverage situations. "I can't turn down the leverage at the start of the game. We're a little banged up in the rotation right now. He has to go out there and find a way and get to that next level right now. We don't really have that luxury right now."
The Yankees had their top starter, right-hander Gerrit Cole, going on Saturday and he did not allow a run in 5 2/3 innings. Toronto right-hander Alek Manoah pitched seven scoreless innings
The game was left to the bullpens. Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth against Yimi Garcia. Toronto then tied it in the ninth on pinch hitter Danny Jansen's two-run homer against Wandy Peralta
Toronto closer Jordan Romano allowed the deciding run in the bottom of the ninth.
"They're tough," Cole said of Toronto hitters. "They grind; they don't give a pitch up. They're shifty, and obviously Alek was on his game today. He threw tremendous. I would have liked to get deeper. ... It did feel like I kind of faded a little bit, but I gave it everything I had."
Cole worked out of trouble in the first inning. In the second, he hit Toronto second baseman Santiago Espinal with a pitch. Espinal left the game with what was described as a bruised wrist. He will have more tests Sunday.
--Field Level Media