The only team that has had a chance to face Masahiro Tanaka twice this season, the Cubs, handed him his lone defeat in the Majors the second time around.
Since suffering that lone blemish on May 20, the Yankees' right-hander has continued his tear through the league. He has won four consecutive starts, punctuated with a complete game victory over the Mariners in his last outing. He's tied for the Major League lead with 10 wins, and his 2.02 ERA is the best in the American League.
Tanaka made his debut in the Majors against the Blue Jays on April 4, when he allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings with eight strikeouts and, as has become expected, earned a win. On Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, Tanaka will face the Blue Jays for the second time this season.
"They're a very good lineup, whether you see them the first time, the fifth time," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "They're extremely dangerous so, yeah, I'm looking forward to it. My thought is he's going to do fine. I wouldn't think that he wouldn't. But obviously you're curious."
Tanaka, through an interpreter, said he does feel more comfortable with the Major League game.
"I know how to prepare before games, the preparation going into a game," he said. "That would probably be a difference from the first time going into now.
"As far as from the first game, I really don't have any thoughts from that. Toronto is a team that is the best team in our league right now, so obviously I want to go out there and try to get a win."
Since Opening Day, the Blue Jays have established themselves as the contenders many predicted they would emerge as last season. Instead, they finished in last place.
Now Toronto enters this series in first place in the AL East in large part due to the Blue Jays' offense. They lead the Majors in home runs (92), are third in baseball in runs (334) and second in the league in OPS (.765).
"They've swung the bats extremely well, they play good defense and they've pitched well," Girardi said.
Blue Jays: Stroman bringing supporters to Yankee Stadium
Marcus Stroman expects to have quite a few family and friends to form his own cheering section for his start on Tuesday.
Stroman, a Medford, N.Y. native, said he is getting 60-65 tickets for people to attend the game, while approximately 60 more people are getting tickets on their own in his support.
"Any time you have an opportunity to pitch in front of a bunch of family and friends it's exciting," Stroman said. "I have a bunch of people texting me, a lot of people from high school, college reaching out to me telling me they'll be at the game."
The 23-year old right hander is 3-1 and has recorded a quality start in each of his three starts this season.
Yankees: Heavy division stretch of schedule arrives
Fresh off a trip from the West Coast, the Yankees are about to enter a stretch of games against the AL East.
Their next 15 games are against their own division, and six of their next 11 games are against the first-place Blue Jays.
"You don't want to make too much of it, but it's obviously an important period when you're going to see the teams that we're going to see," Girardi said. "It's a huge stretch against East Coast teams, and you have a chance to make up ground and put distance between other teams and yourself. I think it's really important."
• Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind ambled into the team's clubhouse on Sunday on crutches with a boot on his right foot -- a pair of precautionary measures for his right foot contusion. He received a second X-ray on Sunday.
• New York won two out of three games in their lone meeting with Toronto this season.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.