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Yankees vs. Blue Jays Game Preview: Big Mike, the ace

Tonight at 7:05 p.m. the Yankees take on the Blue Jays in Toronto at the Rogers Center in the second of a three game set.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7:05 p.m. the Yankees take on the Blue Jays in Toronto at the Rogers Centre in the second of a three-game set. The Yankees opened their season against the Blue Jays, dropping the series 1-2. But a lot has changed in the month since their last series. The Yankees are now one of baseball’s best teams and the Jays find themselves in the cellar of the AL East.

On the hill for the Yankees is ace Michael Pineda. Pineda pitched against the Jays on April 8, the second game of this season, when he went 6.0 innings allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Pineda took a no decision in his last time out on April 29 against the Rays, though the Yankees lost 3-2. He only lasted 5.2 innings allowing two earned runs in that time. But with the recent news of Masahiro Tanaka’s DL stint, it seems Pineda must step into the ace role for the Yankees, at least temporarily.

The Blue Jays will throw RHP Marco Estrada tonight, who is making his debut in the Blue Jays starting rotation. Following the struggle and demotion of Daniel Norris to Triple-A Buffalo, Toronto decided to stretch out the righty and opted for the Estrada Experiment (patent pending). This season Estrada has been excellent out of the bullpen in six games and 10.2 innings. He’s given up only four hits and one run earning him a .84 WHIP and a shot in the starter role. Estrada has faced Brian McCann 11 times, though McCann has handled him for five hits and a .455 average. Estrada started 18 games last season for Milwaukee but never really found his rhythm. The Blue Jays are hoping for a different result tonight.

Also, Jose Pirela is with the team, though he won't be active tonight. Maybe Joe Girardi will explain why in his 5:20 press conference.