Reeling Yankees seek series split with Blue Jays

Amid concerns about Juan Soto’s bruised right hand, the visiting New York Yankees will try to salvage a split of their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.

Soto watched Saturday as the Blue Jays won their second game of the series 9-3, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. driving in six runs.

Soto injured his hand when sliding safely into home in the fourth inning Friday in New York’s 16-5 victory. He stayed in the game and hit a three-run homer in the sixth, but the hand was swollen on Saturday morning. X-rays were negative, but his status for Sunday was uncertain.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Soto had problems during batting practice on Saturday. He was scratched from the lineup about 20 minutes before game time.

“He took some swings pre-game, and it just wasn’t good enough to go today,” Boone said. “Obviously, (Soto will have) a lot of treatment today and tonight. We’ll see what we have tomorrow.”

The Yankees, who are 2-8 in their past 10 games, on Sunday are scheduled to start right-hander Gerrit Cole (0-1, 9.00 ERA). He is 8-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 16 career starts against Toronto.

The Blue Jays are scheduled to start right-hander Kevin Gausman (6-6, 4.26). He is 10-8 with a 3.22 ERA in 33 career games (27 starts) against the Yankees, including 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in two starts this season.

The Blue Jays continued their offensive resurgence of the past week.

Guerrero went 3-for-5 Saturday with a two-run homer and a three-run double. He has homered in each of the three games in the series.

Guerrero has multiple RBIs in six straight games, the longest such streak in franchise history, with 19 RBIs in that span. It is the most in a six-game span in the majors since Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion drove in 20 from Aug. 23-19, 2015.

Over his past eight games, Guerrero is batting .432 (16-for-37) with five doubles, six home runs and 20 RBIs.

Toronto’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa extended his hitting streak to 13 games with four hits on Saturday. He is 21-for-48 (.438) with 13 runs, three homers and seven RBIs during the streak.

Toronto’s Chris Bassitt allowed only an unearned run over six innings Saturday despite taking a line drive off the bat of Aaron Judge in the first inning that left noticeable swelling.

Other pitching news also wasn’t good. Closer Jordan Romano (elbow) suffered a setback in his rehabilitation and has been shut down from throwing.

With Yimi Garcia (elbow) also out, the bullpen is thin, and the offensive outburst has been welcome.

“You want to keep doing what you’re doing offensively for sure,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “And then there are going to be times where you don’t hold a lead or you give up some runs and you’ve got to try to balance it out.

“There are going to be opportunities for guys to step up. Today, (Brendon) Little did, (Zach) Pop did. … there are going to be more and more opportunities for everyone, whether it’s the bullpen or the guys at the plate, to step up. We’ve got to keep doing it.”

Toronto recalled right-hander Jose Cuas from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday and designated left-hander Tim Mayza for assignment.

Cuas allowed a two-run homer to Austin Wells in the ninth inning on Saturday.

–Field Level Media