|Date of game: 9/20/2014
Toronto Blue Jays (77-76) at New York Yankees (79-74), 4:05 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - It's already a hard enough task for the New York Yankees.
The playoff-pursuing Yankees will continue to chase an unlikely postseason berth -- and may have to do it without big-ticket outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury -- when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in game three of a four-game series on Saturday afternoon.
New York needs to pass three teams in its final 10 games to earn the American League's second and final wild card playoff slot. It's tied with Cleveland and is behind Seattle, Oakland and Kansas City.
A failure to do so would be the first time since 1993 that the Yankees have missed the postseason in two straight years.
Things were getting better on the field as the Yankees secured their third straight victory overall and second in a row in the series with the Blue Jays, before Ellsbury sustained a hamstring injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season.
"End strong, see what happens," New York relief pitcher Adam Warren said.
Ellsbury injured his leg on a fourth-inning ground ball, but left the game in the fifth inning. His absence for the rest of the season was called a "distinct possibility" by manager Joe Girardi.
Toronto starts Marcus Stroman, who's appealing a six-game suspension he was docked with after an incident against Baltimore on Monday.
Stroman threw over the head of an Orioles player who'd apparently tried to step on the hand of teammate Jose Reyes earlier in that game, but he denied any intent.
"Fastball that just kind of slipped out of my hand," he said. "It's late in the game. I got two big strikeouts. I'm a little excited, and trying to get out of the inning. I know it's possibly my last hitter. Just trying to execute a fastball in."
Stroman had won three straight starts with a 1.59 earned run average before allowing five runs in six innings of the loss to the Orioles. He's allowed five runs four times in six weeks, and given up two or fewer in the other four starts during that stretch.
In two starts against New York, he's 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA.
Toronto has lost six in a row while scoring just 15 runs and allowing 33.
New York starts veteran Chris Capuano, who's made 10 starts with the Yankees since arriving in late July. He allowed two hits in six innings of a game the team lost, 1-0, on Monday at Tampa Bay.
He's got a 2.92 ERA in two meetings with Toronto while with New York.
On Friday, Brian McCann drove in a run for the Yankees, who beat Toronto, 5-3.
Hiroki Kuroda (11-9) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits while striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays.
Mark Buehrle (12-10) continued to struggle against the Yankees, allowing five runs on eight hits over six innings. The left-hander fell to 1-14 lifetime against New York, with 12 consecutive losing decisions.
The Yanks are 10-7 against the Jays this season.