- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
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TORONTO -- Now, the only thing standing between the Yankees and a second-straight series loss -- and a 2-4 record for their home opener on Monday -- is CC Sabathia. And, of course, an offense that has been offensive in its ineffectiveness so far this season.
Can't find my way home: This will sound sickeningly familiar but a year after suffering RISP-fail after RISP-fail, the Yankees were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They had great chances to tie a 1-run game in the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings and came up empty every time.
Powerless: The Yankees have now gone five straight games, a total of 45 innings, without hitting a home run, their longest drought to start a season since 1990, when they needed seven games to hit one out of the park. FYI, that team went 67-95 to finish 21 games out of first, and in seventh place. Luckily such things can no longer happen.
Blameless: Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits for the second straight game, and has six hits in his past eight at-bats. Francisco Cervelli had two hits, and should have had a third -- and second double -- but was robbed by a great play in his final at-bat. And Yangervis Solarte continues to keep the "Is he for real?" conversation going with two more hits; he is 7-for-13 (.538) so far.
The Melkman rings twice: Ex-Yank Melky Cabrera hit his second home run in two games against his former mates. He greeted Masahiro Tanaka with a blast Friday night and put the cherry on top of this one off David Phelps in the eighth inning. Two batters later, Phelps surrendered an even more majestic home run to Jose Bautista with a runner on to put this one out of reach.
Deserved better: Pineda threw six virtually spotless innings, allowing one run on five hits over six innings, walking none and striking out five. His fastball touched 95 on a couple of occasions and his slider looked as sharp as it had been during his excellent spring. And yet, the one run he allowed -- on a double by Adam Lind and a single by Josh Thole in the second -- was enough to deny him a chance at his first win since July 30, 2011, because the Yankees could no nothing with R.A. Dickey.
Yer out: The Jays executed a fine play to nail Cervelli at home plate in the third -- Colby Rasmus fielded Ellsbury's single to center and fired a one-hop strike to Thole, who applied the tag -- but had to sweat out a challenge by the umpires, presumably on the grounds that Thole illegally blocked the plate. But after a brief delay -- officially, 1:46 -- the original call was upheld.
Where's Joe?: The real problem with that play at the plate is that Cervelli might actually have been safe. Replays showed his left foot might have sneaked through before the tag was applied. Rather than arguing that the plate had been illegally blocked, Girardi's energies might have been better used simply arguing the out call.
Rasmus Haul: The Jays CF made an other jaw-dropper in the ninth, chasing down Cervelli's long drive to the warning track and making a diving catch while sliding headlong on the artificial turf.
Knuckling under: When the Yankees weren't missing Dickey's knuckleball, they were missing out on some good scoring opportunities. Dickey struck out six in the first five innings, including Dean Anna twice, but the Yankees blew a golden opportunity in the seventh, getting two runners on, including the speedy Ellsbury, with none out but coming up empty when Carlos Beltran tapped back to the mound to start a 1-6-3 double play and Brian McCann lined out softly to the shortstop, who was positioned in short center field. Dickey went 6 2/3, allowed five hits and no runs.
Sori display: To borrow a Girardi catchphrase, the start of Alfonso Soriano's 2014 season is not what you want to see. Soriano went 0-for-4 and is now 0-for-15 out of the gate, including a truly ugly at-bat with two on and two out in the eighth in which he let two fastballs go by for strikes -- and then swung and missed at a curve that bounced about 10 feet in front of him.
What's next: Sabathia, who allowed six earned runs in six innings in his Opening Day loss to the Astros gets a chance at redemption Sunday, facing RHP Drew Hutchison (1-0, 0.00), first pitch at the very-Canadian time of 1:07 p.m.