Masahiro Tanaka pitched like the ace the Yankees needed him to be, allowing four hits over seven innings to lead New York over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 Sunday and stop his team's five-game losing streak.
Dustin Ackley homered and had three RBI for the Yankees, who closed back within 3 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Blue Jays with 20 games left.
Toronto had won the first three games of the four-game series, but the Yankees sent R.A. Dickey (10-11) to his first loss since before the All-Star break. The Blue Jays and Yankees play three more times in Toronto from Sept. 21-23.
The Blue Jays said before the game that All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will miss at least two weeks after cracking his left shoulder blade in a collision during the opener of Saturday's doubleheader. Edwin Encarnacion was held out after aggravating a finger injury Saturday.
Tanaka (12-6) struck out seven, walked none and threw 76 of 108 pitches for strikes. He is 3-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last four starts.
On Aug. 15, he beat the Blue Jays with a five-hitter in Toronto.
Dickey (10-11) gave up five runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings. The knuckleballer had been 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 11 starts since losing at the Chicago White Sox on July 9.
Ackley, starting because he was 4 for 11 against Dickey coming in, homered for the first time since July 8 for Seattle against Detroit.
New York went ahead in the second on sacrifice flies by Ackley and Didi Gregorius. Ackley, acquired from the Mariners on July 30, hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and Alex Rodriguez added an RBI double in the eighth that chased Dickey.