TORONTO -- Jose Bautista has struggled at times this season with nagging injuries. He has been on the disabled list twice and his production is not what it has been.
The one thing he has not lost is his flair for the dramatic.
Bautista cranked a fastball from New York Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard with two out in the eighth inning for a three-run homer on Saturday. His 20th homer of the season was all that was needed to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 3-0 victory over the Yankees.
"It was a fastball in the strike zone," Bautista said. "I'm sure he was trying to locate a little bit better (as) it was over the heart of the plate. It was a 2-0 pitch, I was definitely looking for a heater in that situation and I was lucky to make good contact."
The Blue Jays have won the first two contests of the four-game series, both shutouts. The Yankees have not scored in three straight games for the first time since July 27-28, 1975 that included a doubleheader.
"It's hard to explain," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't have too many opportunities today. ... There's no lack of effort. You become disappointed when there's a lack of effort."
It was the sixth time this month that the Yankees have been blanked and the 13th time this season.
"I thought he did his job," Blue Jays manager Gibbons said of Stroman "That's as good as I've seen him."
Grilli, who picked up the win, allowed a two-out triple to right center by Ronald Torreyes, the first Yankee to reach third base in the game. Pinch hitter Billy Butler struck out.
"I got a pitch I should have hit and fouled it off," said Butler, admitting the offensive slump is weighing on the team. "I think with what's at stake, for sure, especially with the talent that's in here. We're getting guys on, we're just not getting that big hit to push runs across."
"You can't really say enough good things about what Grilli has done since he's been here," Gibbons said. "Same with (reliever Joaquin) Benoit. Without those two guys we're not where we're at right now."
Both relievers joined the Blue Jays in trades during the season.
Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia also went seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits, three walks with two strikeouts.
Clippard (3-5) replaced Sabathia for the eighth and allowed a two-out single to Josh Donaldson, who took second on a wild pitch. Edwin Encarnacion walked before Bautista lined the fastball over the left-field fence.
"He's heating up at the right time," Gibbons said. "He has been known to do some things in key spots. I was sitting on the bench with DeMarlo (Hale, bench coach) and mentioned that to him -- right guy, right time basically."
Bautista also tied the game Wednesday with a ninth-inning homer in Seattle, a game the Blue Jays lost 2-1 in 12 innings to the Mariners.
When asked if injuries have been part of the reason he has struggled at times, Bautista said: "That's always part of it. So I don't want to point to that or make it an excuse. We have to deal with it a lot.
"Everybody in here has been banged up or had to deal with something so I can't really point to that as an excuse. Do I feel better physically? Yes. Does that help? Probably. I've been nicked up for the past five six years and I've had success before so I'm not going to use that as an excuse."
Sabathia escaped unscathed from the second inning despite allowing a leadoff double to Bautista and walking Russell Martin. He got a double-play grounder from Troy Tulowitzki before walking Melvin Upton Jr. to put runners at the corners. The inning ended on a soft line drive to second by Dioner Navarro.
NOTES: Yankees INF Donovan Solano started at third base Saturday with 3B Chase Headley starting on the bench. Headley returned to the lineup Thursday and Friday after missing three starts with lower-back tightness. He was removed for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning on Friday in the 9-0 loss to the Blue Jays. ... Toronto C Russell Martin started at DH Saturday with C Dioner Navarro starting behind the plate. ... The Blue Jays had their 37th sellout of the season for the game Saturday at Rogers Centre and are on pace to draw about 3.3 million fans for the season. ... Yankees RHP Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.89 ERA) will face Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.62) Sunday in the third game of the four-game series.