Yankees avoid sweep with 6-2 win over Jays

TORONTO – Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer and J.A. Happ worked seven strong innings as the New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

Gio Urshela also went deep for the Yankees (39-22), who avoided a three-game sweep and ended a three-game losing skid.

Eric Sogard hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays. Toronto (23-39) has dropped 11 of its last 14 games.

With the roof open for the first time this season on a glorious spring evening, Toronto starter Edwin Jackson battled early control issues.

He gave up two walks in the first inning but managed to escape unscathed. Jackson should have got out of the second inning as well but third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., made a two-out throwing error to extend the frame.

Guerrero’s throw hit Thairo Estrada on the helmet as he ran to first base, but the Yankees shortstop stayed in the game. Estrada moved to third on a Cameron Maybin single, and scored when DJ LeMahieu doubled off the wall.

Hicks followed with his third homer of the year.

New York tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning. Urshela hit his fourth homer of the season and LeMahieu drove in Maybin with an RBI single.

Happ (6-3) was in form against his former team.

Sogard, who had a leadoff double in the first inning, was the only Toronto runner to reach scoring position off the veteran southpaw. Sogard went deep in the sixth inning for his fifth homer of the season.

Jackson (0-4) lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, six runs — two of them earned — and two walks. He struck out three batters and his bloated earned-run average fell from 13.22 to 11.90.

Happ allowed four hits, one earned run and had four strikeouts. He didn’t walk a batter.

Thomas Pannone provided 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for Toronto.

The Blue Jays loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning against reliever Chad Green. He was pulled for Aroldis Chapman, who got Lourdes Gurriel to hit into a double-play that brought home Justin Smoak.

Freddy Galvis lined out to end it as Chapman earned his 18th save.

Both teams had eight hits. The game took three hours seven minutes to play and announced attendance was 25,657.

Notes: It was Pride Night at Rogers Centre. Forte – Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus – sang the national anthems. … The Blue Jays will continue their six-game homestand with a three-game interleague series against Arizona. Toronto’s Marcus Stroman (3-7, 2.84 ERA) is scheduled to start against fellow right-hander Merrill Kelly (5-6, 4.41). It will be the Diamondbacks’ first visit to Rogers Centre since 2016. … The Yankees will continue their six-game road trip with a weekend series against Cleveland.

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