Nova finds tough foe in Jays as Yanks fall
Curtis' ninth-inning homer lone offensive highlight for Bombers
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- J.P. Arencibia and Travis Snider each homered as the Blue Jays roughed up right-hander Ivan Nova en route to a 6-1 victory over the Yankees on Thursday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Nova pitched a scoreless first inning but got into trouble in the second. Adam Lind doubled to lead off the frame while third baseman Brett Lawrie followed with an RBI single to account for the game's first run.
Two batters later, Nova fell behind in the count, 2-0, to Arencibia, and Toronto's everyday catcher made him pay. Arencibia sent a deep shot over the wall in right field for his first home run of the spring. Nova came back out to start the third but couldn't get through the inning as he continued to battle problems with the location of his pitches.
"That's what I'm capable of, when I'm at my best," Arencibia said of hitting the ball to the opposite field. "[When] I had my best years, that's what happened. I'm a guy that hits half of my home runs the other way. Last year ... I was really side to side with pulling the ball, and I've worked really hard to get back through the middle.
"When I'm staying through the middle, it's not a ball you try to go to right, it's just that you have that good swing, but I'm capable of that."
Nova retired shortstop Yunel Escobar to begin the third and then surrendered three consecutive singles. Two runs came around to score in the frame, and Nova was eventually pulled from the game having been charged with five runs on six hits and one walk without any strikeouts.
"I just missed location again," Nova said. "When you don't have your location, you can't have a good game. If you can't get ahead with the fastball, you have a problem."
Snider added to the Blue Jays' lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. His solo shot was his second homer in as many games as he continues to make a strong case in the competition for the starting job in left field against Eric Thames.
Left-hander Brett Cecil got the start for the Blue Jays and didn't allow a run in two innings of work. Cecil allowed just one hit and issued one walk. Overall, Toronto's pitching staff limited Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texeira and Raul Ibanez to just one hit in eight at-bats.
Colin Curtis hit a solo homer off Chad Beck in the ninth for the Yankees' only run of the game.
Up next: The Yankees are back at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday, welcoming in the Braves for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest, their first meeting with Atlanta this spring. The game can be seen on MLB.TV. Right-hander Freddy Garcia will make his second turn through the rotation for New York. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano are expected to be in the lineup as the double-play combination, with Russell Martin calling the pitches behind the plate.