TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez keyed the offensive outburst that gave CC Sabathia his longest winning streak in five years.
Sabathia won his fourth consecutive start, Hicks had a career-high six RBIs and Sanchez homered twice to lead the New York Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 12-2 on Thursday night.
“Great way to start four days here,” New York manager Joe Girardi said.
Sabathia (6-2) allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out seven and walked none. He has won four straight starts for the first time since April and May 2012.
“He had everything tonight,” Girardi said. “It’s a very dangerous lineup, he controlled it.”
Sabathia had been 0-5 in seven starts against Toronto since beating the Blue Jays on April 6, 2014.
“We had three pitches today that we could work with and the changeup was really good,” Sabathia said. “We just mixed them all.”
Hicks hit a three-run double in the first, singled in the third, had an RBI double in the seventh and a two-run double in the ninth. Hicks had never before driven in more than three runs in a game. He has 30 RBIs, one shy of his total last year.
“It’s awesome,” Hicks said of his big night. “You always want to have big games and I was able to do that.”
Sanchez homered in consecutive at-bats against Marco Estrada (4-3), a solo drive in the second and a two-run shot in the fourth.
“I missed two changeups and he crushed those,” Estrada said.
It was the fourth multihomer game of Sanchez’s career. Eleven of his past 12 home runs have been hit on the road.
“If we get him hot, this lineup is going to be tough to deal with,” Sabathia said.
Brett Gardner his 999th and 1,000th hits for the Yankees, who reopened a three-game lead in the AL East.
Estrada allowed a season-high seven runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
“We never really let him settle in tonight,” Girardi said
For Estrada, it his shortest start since Sept. 9 against Boston.
“It just wasn’t his night and that’s rare,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Kendrys Morales homered off Sabathia in the seventh and Ezequiel Carrera against Chad Green in the eighth. Toronto had won eight of its previous nine.
CC ADDS TO Ks
Sabathia passed Frank Tanana to take over fourth place for career strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher. Sabathia has 2,779 career strikeouts, well behind Randy Johnson’s leading total of 4,875.
The Yankees have finished with double-digit hit totals in three straight games and four of the past five. New York has collected 10 or more hits 23 times this season.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Gardner is the 41st player to collect 1,000 hits with the Yankees.
Yankees: LHP Aroldis Chapman (shoulder) threw up to 100 feet on flat ground and could throw a bullpen next week, manager Joe Girardi said. … OF Jacoby Ellsbury (concussion) is eligible to come off the seven-day concussion list but is not ready to return. “His neck is still sore, too,” Girardi said. “Maybe in a couple of days we’ll get him back but not quite yet.” Ellsbury was injured making a catch on May 24. … 1B Greg Bird (right ankle) went 1 for 1 with two walks in his first rehab game at Class A Tampa. Bird played six innings.
Blue Jays: C Russell Martin (left knee) and 2B Devon Travis (right knee) got the day off. … Toronto recalled RHP Leonel Campos from Triple-A Buffalo. RHP Mike Bolsinger was designated for assignment. … RHP Glenn Sparkman (right thumb) allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings in his first rehab start at Class-A Dunedin.
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (6-2, 3.32) has already matched his win total from 2016, when he had six victories in 32 starts. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine straight starts, matching the longest such stretch of his career.
Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (2-2, 6.35) is expected to come off the DL to start Friday. Liriano has been out since May 10 because of a sore shoulder. He allowed three runs – two earned – in 4 1/3 innings in his first rehab start at Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday.