TORONTO - Which CC Sabathia will the Yankees get this season?
The pitcher from the first two innings of his Opening Night start in Houston when he allowed six runs, or the one from the final four frames when he shut out the Astros?
Joe Girardi is convinced it's the latter.
"I expect him to get back on track," he said before Sunday afternoon's game against the Blue Jays. "The other day his fastball and changeup were cutting. I expect him to get back on track and pitch the way he did in spring training."
Instead, it was another up-and-down outing, though one certainly containing more positives than negatives as the Yankees flexed some offensive muscle in beating the Blue Jays, 6-4, in front of 34,067 at Rogers Centre.
The victory allowed the Yankees to take two of three in the series and return to the Bronx, where they have their home opener Monday against the Orioles, with a 3-3 record.
The Bombers hit their first homer of the season -- a two-run blast from Brett Gardner in a three-run fourth that made it 6-1 -- and received good relief outings by Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley to set up David Robertson.
The closer earned his second save with a scoreless ninth, though it wasn't without drama.
Brett Lawrie reached with a one-out single, bringing the lefthanded-hitting Adam Lind to the plate as a pinch hitter. Lind walked but pinch hitter Colby Rasmus popped out to third and Melky Cabrera, who led off the first with a homer, lined out to right to end it.
But Sabathia again showed why there is so much uncertainty surrounding him.
The lefthander was terrific after allowing the homer to Cabrera, but he allowed three runs in the sixth inning, turning a blowout into a close game.
Sabathia (1-1, 7.50 ERA) allowed four runs and seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six.
The Yankees offense went after Blue Jays righthander Drew Hutchinson early. Gardner walked and stole second, and Derek Jeter, who had two hits to move into eighth place on the all-time hits list, moved him to third with a grounder to second. Jacoby Ellsbury, coming off back-to-back three-hit games, brought Gardner in with a grounder to second, the centerfielder's first RBI as a Yankee.
After Brian McCann walked and Alfonso Soriano was hit in the back with a pitch, Kelly Johnson, the first baseman now that Mark Teixeira is on the DL with a strained right hamstring, smacked a long two-run double to center to make it 3-0.
The Blue Jays got one back in the first when Cabrera continued his trend of killing his former team, taking Sabathia's 0-and-1 pitch deep to left-center to make it 3-1. Cabrera, who homered in each game of the series, improved to 23-for-70 with six homers in his career against the Yankees.
The Yankees added three more in the fourth, breaking the game open, at least for the moment.
Brian Roberts led off with a walk and, after Ichiro Suzuki struck out, Yangervis Solarte, 7-for-13 coming in, doubled to right-center to score Roberts. Gardner then lined Hutchinson's full-count pitch into the netting above the Yankees' bullpen in right. The two-run blast made it 6-1.
Sabathia mostly cruised after the Cabrera homer. At one point he threw a first-pitch strike to 16 straight hitters and he retired nine straight after Maicer Izturis' two-out single in the third. That streak ended with two outs in the sixth when Jose Bautista singled. Edwin Encarnacion singled and Dioner Navarro followed with an RBI double off the glove of a diving Solarte at third. Erik Kratz's two-run single made it 6-4.