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David Price leads Blue Jays past Yankees in series opener

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Behind seven scoreless innings from David Price and a heck of late-inning escape from Brett Cecil, the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 4-2 on Monday night in the first game of a critical AL East showdown at Rogers Centre.

Price gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out seven batters. The Blue Jays got most of their offense early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Adam Warren didn’t make it out of the fourth inning for New York.

The Yankees finally got something going in the eighth, as Didi Gregorius walked and Dustin Ackley singled off Aaron Sanchez to begin the frame. Cecil took over from there and gave up an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury, but the southpaw escaped the jam by striking out Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, and Brian McCann in succession. Young closer Roberto Osuna gave up a solo homer to Greg Bird with two outs in the ninth, but he was able to finish off the victory for his 17th save.

Price improved to 17-5 with the win and leads the American League with a 2.34 ERA. The southpaw has a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts with the Blue Jays. By the way, four of those starts have been against the Yankees. He has a 1.71 ERA in those outings. Talk about a difference-maker.

The Blue Jays lead the Yankees by 3 1/2 games in the American League East with 12 games to play. Their magic number sits at ten.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.