TORONTO - Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi struck out nine in his solid six innings, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s two-run single in the fourth pushed the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Kikuchi (1-1) provided the Blue Jays (10-8) with a three-run cushion after giving up only a run on four hits and a walk for Toronto's season-high fourth win in a row.

The Yankees (12-6) lost their third straight before 31,175 at Rogers Centre.

With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Guerrero slammed a two-out single through the infield and into centre field to score Ernie Clement and Daulton Varsho. Guerrero went 2-for-3 with two walks.

The Blue Jays scored two more in the sixth inning on an error from New York second baseman Gleyber Torres and an RBI single from Bo Bichette.

The Yankees made it close with a two-run seventh inning off reliever Trevor Richards, which included a run-scoring double from Alex Verdugo and a sacrifice fly from Oswaldo Cabrera.

Toronto reliever Yimi Garcia enjoyed a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Canadian stopper Jordan Romano had a rocky ninth but earned his first save of the year. He hit Torres and gave up a one-out double to Verdugo. Romano then coaxed two infield outs with the first grounder scoring Torres.

The Yankees snatched a 1-0 lead in the second inning on catcher Jose Trevino's single to left field, scoring Giancarlo Stanton from second base. Davis Schneider's throw was in time and on target, but catcher Danny Jansen mishandled the ball. Jansen was making his first start in 2024 after suffering a wrist injury in spring training.

Schneider made another standout defensive play in the sixth inning with a diving catch along the left-field line.

The Blue Jays pulled even on a Justin Turner sacrifice fly that scored Daulton Varsho after his leadoff double in the third inning. Yankees starter Carlos Rodin (1-1) only lasted four innings. In his 101-pitch effort, he surrendered three runs on five hits, four walks, and five strikeouts.


Before the game, the Blue Jays reinstated relievers Romano (right elbow inflammation) and Erik Swanson (right forearm inflammation) from the 15-day injured list.

Nate Pearson was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, and Mitch White was designated for assignment to make room for the return of the veteran right-handed pitchers.


Toronto concludes its nine-game homestand and three-game set against the Yankees with a Wednesday matinee.

Kevin Gausman (0-2, 11.57) was scheduled to start against former Blue Jay Marcus Stroman (1-1, 2.12).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2024.