Blue Jays All-Star closer Romano gets save in season debut against Yankees

TORONTO (AP) — Blue Jays All-Star closer Jordan Romano saved a win over the New York Yankees in his season debut Tuesday night.

Toronto activated Romano and fellow right-hander Erik Swanson off the 15-day injured list before the game. Romano had been sidelined since spring training with right elbow inflammation and Swanson with right forearm inflammation.

Romano came on with a two-run lead and got immediate help from his defense when Daulton Varsho made a diving catch on Anthony Rizzo's leadoff liner to left.

Romano hit Gleyber Torres with a pitch and Alex Verdugo doubled. Jose Trevino cut the gap to one with an RBI groundout, advancing Verdugo to third, but Romano retired Oswaldo Cabrera on a game-ending groundout.

“His stuff was there," manager John Schneider said of Romano. "He just let his slider get up a bit to Torres."

Romano rejoined the Blue Jays following two rehab appearances with Triple-A Buffalo last Thursday and Saturday.

“I’m sure Jordy liked the atmosphere here a little bit better than Buffalo on a cold rainy day," Schneider joked.

Romano, who turns 31 on Sunday, went 5-7 with a 2.90 ERA and 36 saves in 40 appearances last year and made the AL All-Star team for a second straight season. He last pitched in a spring training game on March 10.

Swanson, 30, appeared in 69 games for Toronto in 2023, going 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA and four saves in six chances. His last spring training game was March 13, and he made three appearances for the Bisons, on April 7, Thursday and Saturday.

Toronto optioned right-hander Nate Pearson to Triple-A Buffalo. Righty Mitch White was designated for assignment.

A four-year veteran, Pearson was demoted despite not allowing a run in six appearances this season. Pearson has struck out nine and allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Acquired from the Dodgers in 2022, White stopped a 20-game winless streak with Toronto on March 31 when he pitched three scoreless innings to beat Tampa Bay. He had a 7.71 ERA in his next three appearances before being cut.



Ian Harrison, The Associated Press