TORONTO - The Yankees sleepwalked through six innings Friday night, only to erupt for five runs in a game-changing seventh that led to victory.
They slumbered through the full nine Saturday, held to one hit by Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez in a 2-0 loss to the Blue Jays in front of a sellout crowd of 45,863 at Rogers Centre.
"He didn't make any mistakes,'' Mark Teixeira said of Hutchison, who allowed only Teixeira's fourth-inning double in seven innings.
Hutchison, a righthander who came in 8-11 with a 4.68 ERA -- including 1-3 with a 7.08 ERA in four previous starts against the Yankees this season -- struck out nine. Sanchez, a hard-throwing rookie righthander who is the Blue Jays' top pitching prospect, struck out three in a perfect final two innings for his first career save.
The Yankees managed only five baserunners, including two walks and two hit batsmen. "It does , especially the way we responded last night when we weren't doing anything for the first six innings,'' said Joe Girardi, whose team was one-hit for the first time since Sept. 4, 2009, in Toronto. "It's tough to figure out and you have to go win a game tomorrow and win this series.''
The Yankees (70-64), who again were unable to move a season-high eight games over .500, fell eight games behind the AL East-leading Orioles and 31/2 games behind the Tigers and Royals, who are tied for the second AL wild-card spot.
Losing pitcher Michael Pineda (3-3, 2.09) made one mistake: a hanging 0-and-2 slider that Jose Bautista lined off the facing of the second deck in leftfield in the first inning for his 28th homer and a 2-0 lead.
With Jose Reyes on third and two outs, Pineda threw four straight sliders to the dangerous Bautista -- two excellent ones that he took for strikes, a mediocre one that he fouled off and a misplaced one that he didn't miss. It was the fourth straight game in which Bautista has homered.
"He's a pretty good hitter,'' said Pineda, whose intent was to put the fourth slider in the dirt. "I tried to make a good pitch . . . and he got it.''
Pineda allowed seven hits and no walks with three strikeouts in six innings-plus. He left with runners on second and third and none out in the seventh, but Shawn Kelley pitched out of the jam.
"You hate to waste an outing like that,'' Chase Headley said.
The Yankees had few chances, putting only two runners in scoring position, both in the fourth inning. The primary reason for that, hitters said, was Hutchison's slider.
"His slider was really good today and we really haven't seen a lot of his slider,'' Teixeira said. "Every pitch he missed, he missed out of the zone. He didn't really miss over the plate at all.''
Said Headley: "Just seemed like he had a better slider than I've seen from him in the past and on video. He pitched a heck of a game and didn't give us a whole lot to hit.''
"He put the ball today wherever he wanted,'' Brian McCann said. "This is the best I've seen him locate for a whole game. You tip your hat to him.''
Hutchison was perfect through 32/3 innings before nicking Carlos Beltran with a two-out pitch. Teixeira, 1-for-17 to that point on the trip, lined a double to right-center and Hutchison nailed McCann in the back, suddenly loading the bases.
They could not get the big hit, though, as Martin Prado flied out to medium center on a 2-and-0 pitch. There were no Yankees threats thereafter.
"I don't think this is all of a sudden, we're back at square one,'' Headley said of the offense, which had showed some life during this trip before taking a step back to what it's been most of the season. "I think you chalk this one up to a guy that had his really good stuff and executed pitches and beat us. We'll go back to hopefully swing the way we have the last week and a half, two weeks, tomorrow.''