NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Hicks hit a go-ahead two-run homer and made jumping catch in his first left-field start in four years, leading the New York Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Tuesday night.
New York scored first for the first time in five games this season when Hicks drove a 2-0 slider from Yusei Kikuchi (0-1) into the right-center field seats in the second inning, Hicks’ first home run since last April 30.
Nestor Cortes and four relievers combined on a five-hitter, quieting a Blue Jays’ offense that produced 23 runs and 38 hits in the first four games.
Hicks, who didn’t play after May 12 last year because of wrist injury that needed surgery, had not started in left since Sept. 29, 2017. With two outs and none on in the second, the Yankees moved second baseman Gleyber Torres to near the left-field line with Matt Chapman at the plate as part of a four-man outfield that saw Hick stationed in left-center.
Hicks took a step in and made a slight jump for the catch.
Then in the bottom half, the switch-hitter’s drive from the right side of the plate ended the Yankees’ 15-inning scoreless streak.
Cortes allowed three hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked none. The fastest of his 72 pitches was 93.6 mph.
Clay Holmes (1-0) followed with 1 2/3 hitless innings, Miguel Castro worked around a two-hit error in the seventh and Jonathan Loáisiga needed one pitch to retire Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to strand two in the eighth.
Aroldis Chapman, throwing at up to 100.8 mph struck out two in the ninth.
New York added a run in the fourth when DJ LeMahieu scored from second on a throwing error by catcher Tyler Heineman, whose pickoff attempt sailed over Guerrero at first and into right field.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a 116.2 mph sacrifice fly in the eighth.