TORONTO -- The New York Yankees' chances of catching the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East took a serious hit with their 4-0 loss Wednesday night. Manager Joe Girardi had said it was basically a must-win game for the Yankees' hopes for the division title.
With the loss, the Yankees now stand 3.5 games behind the Jays with 11 remaining.
Yogi remembrance: Prior to the game, there was a video tribute and moment of silence for Yogi Berra, who died Tuesday at 90 years old.
With the division hopes on the line, Girardi turned to two rookies -- and it didn't work. With Chasen Shreve ineffective, James Pazos got the call on a lefty-lefty matchup to face Ryan Goins. Pazos got up 0-2 before Goins won the matchup with a single on a 2-2 fastball.
Martin mash: The Jays broke it open in the seventh when Russell Martin smacked a three-run homer off Andrew Bailey. With two outs, two men on and likely a shortened bullpen because of Tuesday's game, Girardi stuck with Bailey but it did not pay off.
Pretty super Nova: Nova pitched well coming off his demotion. He was charged with one run in 5⅔ scoreless innings. The run that was put on his scoreline came around from first after he left, so it is pretty hard to blame him.
In each of the first two innings, Nova left runners on base. But despite getting hit at times, he was in control. He allowed four hits and walked none while striking out five.
Stroman shield: Long Island's Marcus Stroman allowed the Yankees to put runners in scoring position in only the fifth and the seventh innings. That was it.
In the seventh, immediately after the Jays scored, the Yankees put two men on, thanks to Carlos Beltran's walk and Chase Headley's two-out single. Dustin Ackley smashed a ball to center, but Pillar sped in to make the play.
In the fifth, the Yankees put the first runner in scoring position after Ackley's two-out double. Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the inning.
Stroman went seven scoreless for the win.
Lining up Tanaka: Now, the Yankees may focus on the wild card and setting their rotation so Masahiro Tanaka could start the game on Oct. 6.
Season series: The Jays own a 13-6 record against the Yankees in their 18 games this season.
On deck: The Yankees have four games with the Chicago Whites Sox in the Bronx, beginning Thursday. The pitching mathcups: Thursday, Michael Pineda (11-8, 4.01) vs. Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47); Friday, CC Sabathia (5-9, 4.80) vs. Carlos Rodon (8-6, 3.78); Saturday, Adam Warren (6-7, 3.46) vs. John Danks (7-13, 4.59); Sunday, Luis Severino (4-3, 3.10) vs. Jeff Samardzjia (10-13, 5.04).