He was unable to carry that form into his first start of the season.
Estrada gave up four earned runs and didn't make it out of the fifth inning as the New York Yankees held on for a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. Mark Teixeira's two-run homer knocked the right-hander out of the game as Toronto's four-game home winning streak came to an end.
"Unfortunately I made a mistake to Teixeira and he hit it. But other than that, I felt pretty good," Estrada said. "I can't wait for my pitch count to go up so I can give the guys (more) innings. I wanted that inning, that inning was mine and unfortunately it got away from me."
Michael Pineda (4-0) threw eight shutout innings for the American League East division leaders. David Carpenter gave up a solo homer to Canadian Russell Martin in the Blue Jays' three-run ninth inning.
Closer Andrew Miller came on with two outs in the frame. He walked pinch-hitter Jose Bautista to bring the tying run to the plate before getting Devon Travis to fly out for his 11th save.
Alex Rodriguez drove in two runs and Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and scored twice for the Yankees (17-10). Pineda allowed five hits, a walk, and had six strikeouts.
The Blue Jays fell to 13-15 with the loss.
Estrada entered the game with a sparkling 0.84 earned-run average after six relief appearances. He gave up back-to-back hits to start the game as Ellsbury led off with a single and moved to third when Brett Gardiner doubled on the 11th pitch of his at-bat.
Rodriguez drove both runners in with a double but was later caught in a rundown. Estrada (1-1) settled down to get the next two outs.
"There's nothing you can do about it," Estrada said. "You just tip your hat and just forget about it and try to limit the damage that inning. I thought I did but I've got to get a little better."
The Blue Jays put runners in scoring position in the third when Martin, a Toronto native who grew up in Chelsea, Que., hit a two-out double that moved Travis to third base. Edwin Encarnacion flew out to deep left field to leave them stranded.
In the fifth, Teixeira belted a first-pitch fastball over the wall for his 10th homer of the season. Estrada allowed eight hits over 4 2/3 innings and had three strikeouts.
Estrada didn't have a firm pitch count in place but his 79-pitch total was nearing the maximum for his first start out of the bullpen. He threw 56 pitches for strikes.
"He accomplished what he needed to. I think he'll just get better his next go-around," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "They have some guys at the top (of the order) that are pesky and they made him work pretty good. We made a run late and they had to bring their closer in the game and we brought the tying run to the plate, so I'm happy with that. But it doesn't surprise me — our guys battle regardless of the score.
"But you spot Pineda too many (runs), he's too good. He's not going to give up a lot."
The Yankees have won four of their last five games overall and seven of their last eight on the road. Pineda matched a career high with his eight-inning effort.
"He was great tonight," Teixeira said. "Gave us exactly what we wanted and can't say anything more. He was perfect."
Relievers Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C., and Steve Delabar kept the Yankees off the board until Chad Jenkins gave up an insurance run in the eighth inning. Didi Gregorius hit a two-out single that brought home Brian McCann, who had reached on a walk.
Martin's homer was his sixth of the season. Announced attendance at Rogers Centre was 21,519.
Notes: The game took two hours 54 minutes to play. ... The Blue Jays selected the contract of Chris Colabello from triple-A Buffalo earlier Tuesday and he got the start in left field. Infielder Jonathan Diaz was optioned to the Bisons and left-hander Jayson Aquino was designated for assignment. ... Blue Jays infielder Danny Valencia was given the day off to rest a sprained ankle. Manager John Gibbons said Valencia caught a cleat while walking up steps after Monday's game. ... Toronto's Mark Buehrle (3-2, 6.75 ERA) is scheduled to start the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday night. The Yankees will counter with fellow left-hander CC Sabathia (0-4, 5.40). ... The Blue Jays are off Thursday and will continue their six-game homestand with a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox starting Friday.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.Suggest a correction