NEW YORK — Mark Buehrle shut down nemesis Vernon Wells, limited Robinson Cano to an RBI grounder and kept pace early with Hiroki Kuroda.
What he didn't do in another loss to the New York Yankees was keep their retreads and youngster from the bases.
Austin Romine had an RBI double in a three-run seventh inning that chased the left-hander, Jayson Nix had two sacrifice flies and rookie David Adams added two hits in the Yankees' 5-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
"Vernon, Cano, I got those guys out. But it's one through nine," Buehrle said. "You've got to get everybody out, not just the middle guys."
Wells had been 24 of 50 (.480) against Buehrle but went 0 for 3 against him. Cano had an RBI groundout in the first then struck out and grounded back to Buehrle in the fifth to hold New York to a run.
Buehrle (1-3) has not beaten the Yankees since April 10, 2004, when he was with the Chicago White Sox and is 1-10 against New York in 15 starts. But he nearly matched Kuroda, who pitched two-hit ball for eight dominant innings, for the first six.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a triple and scored on Cano's grounder to second. Buehrle settled down, allowing only Nix's third-inning walk before Adams singled leading off the fifth.
"Buehrle was rolling along, too," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He had only given up two runs and was matching him there and kept us in the game, and then they exploded on us late there. But I thought he did a nice job as well."
The AL East-leading Yankees defeated last-place Toronto for the fifth straight time this season in New York and for the seventh time in eight games overall.
Kuroda (6-2) struck out five and walked one in cooling off a club that had scored 33 runs in its previous three games and had won a season-high four in a row.
"I didn't really see a whole heck of a lot of pitches from him tonight," Adam Lind said with a laugh. "I guess that's a good thing for him."
The Yankees most consistent starter since the start of last season, Kuroda won for the fourth time in five starts. He is 2-0 in three starts against the Blue Jays this year – matching up each time against Buehrle – allowing four runs in 21 1-3 innings.
He gave up a leadoff double to Melky Cabrera and didn't allow another hit until Edwin Encarnacion's one-out single in the seventh. Between the two hits, Kuroda faced the minimum, picking off Munenori Kawasaki after a third-inning walk.
Preston Claiborne finished the four-hitter.
Kuroda helped himself get out of the first inning unscathed by snaring J.P. Arencibia's liner. Fans cheered and laughed at the fortunate catch when the replay of Kuroda sticking out his glove for the ball was shown on the video board in center field. Kuroda also made a nice play for the first out of the second, bounding off the mound to field Lind's tapper.
"In the first inning I knew this was going to be a good night for us," said Romine, the Yankees rookie catcher.
The impressive outing was big for New York, which placed left-hander Andy Pettitte on the disabled list before the game with a strained left trapezius muscle in his upper back. Pettitte was the 13th Yankees player to land on the DL this season.
Aaron Loup relieved Buehrle after the first three batters in the seventh had hits, including an RBI double by Romine. Gardner slapped an opposite-field single past diving third baseman Brett Lawrie with the infield in, and Nix followed with a long fly to center that upped the lead to five runs.
"I didn't feel as good as the last game, but (I was) still making some pitches until the last inning: first pitch double, then a good bunt," Buehrle said. "I tried to battle to get out of that inning. But, unfortunately, I wasn't able to."
Buehrle yielded five runs and six hits in six-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.
NOTES: The Yankees recalled Vidal Nuno from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Blue Jays RHP Josh Johnson (triceps) threw a side session. Gibbons said he felt good. He will go to the Blue Jays' complex in Dunedin, Fla., next week and will make a minor league rehab start. ... Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan (60-day DL, shoulder) is going to move to Triple-A Buffalo to continue his rehab. He was with Class-A Dunedin. ... RHP Brandon Morrow (1-2), who had his start Wednesday pushed back because of back and neck issues, is scheduled to get the ball against the Yankees Saturday. RHP David Phelps (1-2) is set to start for New York.