- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - As a slumping offense continues to falter, frustration is mounting for the New York Yankees.

Aaron Sanchez pitched 6 2-3 innings to win his fourth straight decision, Edwin Encarnacion had two RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees 7-0 on Wednesday night, completing a three-game sweep.

New York has lost six of eight since winning six straight to reach the .500 mark at 22-22 on May 24.

“When things aren’t going well it seems to really snowball and almost be a little bit contagious,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “We obviously didn’t do a good job of scoring any runs here in Toronto.”

The Yankees scored three runs in the series and have scored five in their past four games.

Manager Joe Girardi struggled to hide his disappointment as he dissected another defeat.

“I’ve tried to shake the order up, I’ve tried to play different guys, make sure guys are rested,” Girardi said. “The bottom line is, these are our guys and they’re capable of doing it. We’re just not doing it right now.”

The Yankees were swept for the third time this season. Toronto’s last home sweep over New York came in September 2000.

“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “We put on the uniform to win and that’s why we work at it. If you’re not wining, it’s no fun.”

Darwin Barney reached base four times and Michael Saunders had two doubles as Toronto improved to 7-2 against the Yankees this season. The Blue Jays have won 10 of 13 following a season-worst five-game losing streak.

“We’re playing good baseball all the way around,” manager John Gibbons said. ” I still don’t think we’ve hit our stride yet.”

Sanchez (5-1) allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out six.

“He just keeps getting better and better,” Gibbons said.

The Yankees had two baserunners in each of the second, third and fifth innings but came up empty each time.

“We weren’t able to do anything off Sanchez,” Girardi said. “We had some opportunities but we weren’t able to score.”

Aaron Loup worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for Toronto.

Masahiro Tanaka (3-1) allowed two runs, one earned, and seven hits in six innings to lose for the first time in 11 starts. He came in as one of four undefeated pitchers with at least 10 starts.

“Obviously I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I was in some tough spots but I was able to grind through and keep the damage to a minimum.”

Designated hitter Alex Rodriguez returned to New York’s lineup after sitting out the previous two games. Batting sixth for the third time this season, he went 1 for 4 with a double.

The Blue Jays opened the scoring on Josh Donaldson’s RBI single in the fifth. Toronto doubled its lead in the sixth when Saunders doubled, advanced on Jacoby Ellsbury’s fielding error and scored on Russell Martin’s double play groundout.

The Blue Jays scored five runs in a bat-around seventh against Kirby Yates and Nick Goody. Encarnacion and Justin Smoak each had two-run singles and Saunders added an RBI double.


A-Rod’s double was his 545th, breaking a tie with former teammate Derek Jeter and giving him sole possession of 30th place on baseball’s all-time list.


Yankees: 2B Starlin Castro got the day off. Castro had played in 50 of New York’s first 51 games.


Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (2-6, 6.92 ERA) starts a makeup game at Detroit on Thursday. It’s Pineda’s fourth straight road start. LHP Matt Boyd (0-2, 2.79) starts for the Tigers. The Yankees and Tigers were postponed by rain and snow on April 10.

Blue Jays: Toronto is off Thursday before opening a three-game series at Boston on Friday. RHP R.A. Dickey starts for the Blue Jays against Red Sox LHP David Price (7-1, 5.11). Dickey has won one of his past 10 starts and is 0-2 in three starts against Boston this season. He switches places with RHP Marcus Stroman, who was pushed back to Saturday.

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