Nathan Eovaldi did everything that was asked of him.
The Yankees' most consistent starter allowed one run and five hits in 61/3 innings against a potent Blue Jays lineup Friday night at the Stadium, settling down after a tough start.
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In the second at-bat of the game, Eovaldi surrendered an opposite-field home run by Josh Donaldson (his 30th homer of the season) on a 99-mph fastball on the outer half of the plate. Then he walked Jose Bautista and allowed a double by Edwin Encarnacion to put runners on second and third with one out. But he got Justin Smoak to fly out to leftfield, not deep enough to allow Bautista to score, and retired Russell Martin on a comebacker.
Eovaldi entered the game with an 11-2 record and 4.30 ERA and added to his recent streak of consistency. In his last nine starts, he is 6-0 with a 2.87 ERA.
His solid effort, however, wasn't good enough to get him, or his team, a victory. Bautista homered off Branden Pinder in the 10th to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 win over the AL East-leading Yankees, moving Toronto within 31/2 games of first place. But Eovaldi had done everything he could.
"I'm satisfied," he said. "I think I had two walks, but I was able to get the big double-play balls when I needed to and I was able to get quick outs after that first inning.
"I just felt like my off-speed pitches were there toward the end of the game and I was able to locate and get ahead in the count for the most part."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi praised Eovaldi's performance against the best offense in baseball, which now has scored 589 runs in 111 games.
Girardi said Eovaldi "did what he had to do."
"He threw the ball extremely well tonight," he said. "He gave us a great chance to win that game and held down a very potent offense, giving up the one run in the first. Getting into late in the game for us . . . I thought he did a great job."
Switch hitter Mark Teixeira, batting righthanded against righthanded knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, hit his 30th homer for the Yankees' only run. The Yankees had six hits in seven innings against Dickey, and Girardi said hitting his knuckleball was "like hitting a butterfly."