NEW YORK, N.Y. - Walk 10 batters. Strike out 13 times. Throw in a passed ball and a wild pitch, too, and it adds up to one sloppy loss for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Edwin Encarnacion hit two long homers, but the Blue Jays wasted several opportunities in a 6-4 loss to the aching New York Yankees on Friday night.
"What's basically happened is we're playing just good enough to lose," manager John Gibbons said. "We're not playing good enough to win."
The Blue Jays led early for the second straight night and outhit New York 10-6 but failed to execute on both sides of the ball in dropping their third of four games on their seven-game road trip. They ran out of two potential rallies, getting caught stealing twice — once at third base to end the third — kept up their free-swinging ways and had trouble finding the plate.
"Not the most crisp, but at the same time the runs were there," third baseman Brett Lawrie said. "We just have to suck this one up and try to get two from them the next couple of days."
David Phelps struck out a career-high nine in four innings after relieving the injured Ivan Nova for New York and Chris Stewart threw out two baserunners as an emergency fill-in for Francisco Cervelli.
"Guys keep stepping up, just like they did (Friday night)," Girardi said. "You just keep finding ways. That's what you do."
Lyle Overbay hit a go-ahead RBI triple and Vernon Wells had a sacrifice fly off Aaron Laffey in an inning the fill-in starter for Josh Johnson walked four.
David Robertson yielded a long homer to Jose Bautista in the eighth but Brett Gardner restored New York's two-run lead with a homer in the bottom half of the inning.
Still, the Blue Jays had a chance, loading the bases against Mariano Rivera in the ninth, but Colby struck out to end it.
"We made a run at Mariano, which is hard to do, but we couldn't come up that one extra big hit," Gibbons said. "We're just not playing good enough to win right now."
Cervelli broke his right hand when Rajai Davis fouled Nova's fifth pitch of the game straight back into the catcher's bare hand. Cervelli will have surgery Saturday and miss at least six weeks. Nova followed Cervelli to the crowded trainer's room two innings later, walking off the mound after giving up a single to Davis with right elbow pain. He will have an MRI.
Kevin Youkilis was not available for the sixth straight game because of lower back tightness, and he may be headed to the disabled list Saturday. And then, of course, there are the four All-Stars: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera have all been out since the beginning of the season.
Nova gave up Encarnacion's homer leading off the second and left the third after allowing the first two batters to reach.
Phelps (1-1) took about 5 minutes to warm up then gave up an RBI single to Rasmus. Phelps then struck out Bautista and Encarnacion.
Stewart completed an inning-ending double play after Encarnacion fanned by throwing out Davis trying to steal third base.
Laffey was starting for Johnson after be claimed off waivers Tuesday by the Blue Jays. He was let go by the Mets after four uninspiring outings, and this one was no better. In 2 2-3 innings, he gave up two hits, two runs and walked five. Laffey was designated for assignment after the game.
"I just couldn't throw strikes," Laffey said. "There's no excuse for walking five batters, regardless of rest or whatever schedule we have. You should never go out there and walk five guys. Just pitch to contact. Just let them hit it like I normally do. It's just out of character for me."
Johnson was skipped with right triceps tightness.
Laffey lost control in the bottom of the third. The six batters he faced before being lifted were not credited with an at-bat. Laffey walked four, Brett Gardner had a sacrifice bunt and Vernon Wells a tying sacrifice fly.
Brad Lincoln (0-1) relieved and struck out Ichiro Suzuki with the bases loaded to maintain the 2-all score.
But Lincoln hit Eduardo Nunez with a pitch to start the fourth and Overbay followed with a triple to centre field, snapping an 0 for 16 hitless skid. He scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.
Phelps didn't allow another hit after Rasmus until Encarnacion hit his second long ball of the night leading off the sixth, a drive off the back wall of the Toronto bullpen. He has homered in four straight games.
NOTES: Gibbons said there is no set plan for Ricky Romero. In extended spring training to work on his mechanics, Romero is scheduled to make his first start for Class A Dunedin on Saturday. ... Yankees RHP Shawn Kelly turned 29 Friday. ... Encarnacion has nine career multihomer games.