Domingo German cruised through six innings of three-hit ball and Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run double, helping the Yankees kick off the second half with a 4-0 victory against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
The Yankees, with 17 wins in their past 21 games, have the American League’s best record at 58-31.
German (11-2) threw just 78 pitches, 54 for strikes, and retired 15 in a row after Eric Sogard’s leadoff hit. The team leader in wins, he limited Toronto to three singles and did not walk a batter.
Pitching on eight days’ rest, German featured a biting curveball that led to six of his seven strikeouts, all swinging.
Playing in front of the largest crowd at Yankee Stadium this season, both starters traded zeros until the bottom of the fifth, when Brett Gardner tripled against Aaron Sanchez (3-13) to lead off the inning. D. J. LeMahieu’s groundout brought Gardner home.
The Yankees then loaded the bases on two hits and a hit batter before Encarnacion lined a hard-hit double off the visiting bullpen wall, driving in three for a 4-0 lead.
Encarnacion, a former Blue Jay, r has struggled since joining the Yankees in a mid-June trade with Seattle, batting just .145 in 17 games.
Tommy Kahnle and Chad Green combined for three scoreless innings in relief.
Sanchez allowed four runs, seven hits, two walks and a hit batter in five innings. He leads the majors in losses.
Gardner was 2 for 4 and also threw out Vladimir Guerrero Jr. trying to stretch a single to a double in the seventh.
Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (abdominal strain) is expected to return on Saturday. … Reliever Dellin Betances (right shoulder impingement) is set to begin a throwing program on Monday. … The longtime Yankees radio play-by-play man John Sterling returned after taking time off. He had called 5,060 consecutive regular-season and postseason games before taking a break on July 4, his 81st birthday.