Ross Stripling will have another chance to show his increasing value to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting New York Yankees.
The versatile right-hander, who has pitched from the bullpen and the rotation this season, will make his third successive start.
The Blue Jays are coming off a 10-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, leaving them with a split in the four-game series.
The Yankees have won seven in a row after completing a three-game sweep of the visiting Tampa Bay Rays with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo home run in the ninth inning.
Stripling’s value increased when it was determined this week that left-handed starter Hyun Jin Ryu will need season-ending elbow surgery. Stripling has been filling his spot in the rotation.
In his past two starts, including a six-inning outing against the host Detroit Tigers on Sunday, Stripling has allowed a total of two hits and no walks while striking out six in 11 scoreless innings. He was credited with wins in both games.
They were his first two starts since May 7, after which he made six relief appearances.
“He’s been great, man,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He’s giving us a chance every time he takes the mound. … When somebody’s not overpowering and they have to pitch, that’s fun to watch — and he’s been fun to watch.”
Stripling is 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA in seven starts this season and 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA and one save in eight relief appearances.
“It’s certainly not going to always be as simple or as easy as the last two, right?” Stripling said. “It’s usually much tougher as you navigate through lineups and through baserunners. It’s really just … throwing any pitch in any count, keeping them off balance, but also filling up the zone and wanting them to hit it and then trusting the defense behind us.”
Stripling (3-1, 3.14 ERA) will oppose Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 2.70).
They faced each other in Toronto on May 2 and neither factored into the decision in a 3-2 Yankees win. Stripling allowed two runs in four innings and Montgomery allowed two runs in five-plus innings.
In six career appearances (three starts) against the Yankees, Stripling is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA.
Montgomery is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts) against the Blue Jays.
The Yankees scratched right-hander Luis Severino (COVID-19 injury list) from his start on Thursday and promoted right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Spot starter Clarke Schmidt and Weber combined for 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball on Thursday.
“We’re in a stretch right now where we don’t have a day off for a while, so you have to be mindful of that and get a little creative,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, we’re going to play (Friday in Toronto) and the next day and the next day, so you have to keep those things in mind.”
Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette left the Thursday game after fouling a ball off his right leg in the sixth inning. X-rays were negative and it is not considered serious.
Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman did not play Thursday. He had played two games in a row after missing three straight due to a wrist injury.
–Field Level Media