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Dickey and the Jays try to break the brooms out on Astros

(SportsNetwork.com) - Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey can pitch the Toronto Blue Jays to a three-game series sweep over the Houston Astros Thursday in the finale of the midweek set at Rogers Centre.

It's the eighth start of Dickey's career against the Astros, who touched him for five runs on seven hits in six innings of their last matchup in Toronto last season. Dickey did not get a decision in the game, which the Blue Jays won, 12-6.

He's split a pair of decisions in two starts against other opposition thus far in 2014, allowing six runs in a 9-2 loss at Tampa Bay and going 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 defeat of the New York Yankees.

Dickey won the National League's Cy Young Award with the New York Mets in 2012, then was acquired by the Blue Jays in the offseason and began 2013 with consecutive losses before ultimately turning things around and winning 14 of 27 decisions across 34 starts.

Houston counters with lefty Dallas Keuchel, who took a 5-1 loss in his first appearance of the season on Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

He gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings of the outing.

Keuchel was very effective against Toronto in two meetings in 2013, getting a win and no-decision while allowing six runs and 14 hits in 14 1/3 innings.

On Wednesday, Brett Lawrie stroked a two-run homer to help the Blue Jays to a 7-3 victory over the Astros. Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis, and Dioner Navarro each supplied two hits for the Blue Jays, who have won three of their last four.

Brandon Morrow (1-1) allowed three runs on five hits with nine strikeouts in six innings to earn the win.

Alex Presley hit a two-run homer and Jose Altuve tripled in Houston's third straight loss.

Starter Lucas Harrell (0-2) gave up five runs -- four earned -- with three walks over 4 1/3 frames.

Toronto was 4-3 against the Astros last season.

04/10 10:41:47 ET

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