Ivan Nova’s early-season struggles have prompted many to question why David Phelps isn’t getting a shot in the rotation. Neither was particularly impressive Sunday.
The Blue Jays salvaged the final game of the weekend series with an 8-4 win over the Yankees, tagging Nova and Phelps for seven of the eight runs.
Brett Lawrie’s two-run double off Phelps capped a four-run sixth and put Toronto ahead for good and J.P. Arencibia drilled a two-run home run in the seventh.
The loss was only the third in the last 12 games for the Yankees, who now head to Tropicana Field for a three-game set against the surging Rays. “Our goal is to take every series and if you can do that, you’ll be in good shape come September,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s not the way you want to leave, but we won two out of three here. This place can be tough to play and our guys did a pretty good job.”

Nova looked sharp at times, but he allowed four runs and 12 baserunners during his five-plus innings, displaying the same lack of consistency that has plagued him since last year’s All-Star break. “I still had a lack of command,” Nova said. “I’m not throwing strikes and that’s making me mad. I know I can do better than this. I’m not happy.”
Nova had a different tone than usual, replacing his standard optimistic outlook with one of frustration. “I’m just not repeating my pitches when I have to,” Nova said. “If I throw a good fastball, the next one is . . . I’m not going to say the word because it’s on TV, but I think you have an idea what I’m going to say.”
Nova allowed runs in each of the first two innings. Chris Stewart got one back in the third with a leadoff homer against Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson.
The Yankees took a lead in the fifth when Johnson issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks to Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez, then Brett Gardner made it 4-2 with a sac fly in the sixth.