By Mike Harrington
The Blue Jays open a key series tonight in Yankee Stadium in a rare spot for them in recent years: First place in the American League East, and by 4 1/2 games, no less.
The pitching matchup sees Masahiro Tanaka facing Toronto for the second time this year against Blue Jays rookie Marcus Stroman, a Long Island native pitching in the Bronx for the first time in his career. It will be very interesting to see how Tanaka does against a team that has seen him before.
I got a good look at Tanaka on Opening Night in Toronto and he was impressive, just like he's been all season.
Stroman talked to Toronto reporters about the trip home to New York over the weekend in Baltimore:
---You can read about Stroman's return home in John Lott's story in the National Post here.
---You can read Brendan Kennedy's story in the Toronto Star here.
Incredibly, the Blue Jays have lost 13 straight at Yankee Stadium -- going 0-10 in the Bronx last season -- and 22 of 24 going back to 2011. Here's a look at the pitching matchups for the series.
They've called up Munenori Kawasaki from the Bisons and sent reliever Steve Delabar -- who was in the All-Star Game last year -- back to Buffalo in a bit of a surprise move. Delabar is 3-0, 4.68 with 21 strikeouts and 16 walks in 25 innings. Kawasaki has been huge for the Herd lately, batting .387 (12-31) over his last 13 games, and should join a second-base platoon for the Jays with Steve Tolleson.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has notes on the transactions from GM Alex Anthopoulos' pregame meeting with reporters.
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