American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 15th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (30-36) at Texas Rangers (38-29), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - R.A. Dickey (5-8, 5.11)
Texas - Josh Lindblom (0-1, 5.91)
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays send the defending NL Cy Young award
winner to the mound on Saturday afternoon as they attempt to move one step
closer to a series sweep of the Texas Rangers.
Toronto won its third game in a row overall on Friday as Mark Buehrle tossed
seven scoreless innings and Colby Rasmus belted a three-run homer in the Blue
Jays' 8-0 rout of Texas. The victory came one day after Toronto took a 3-1
decision in the series opener of this four-game set.
"We just have to continue to play good baseball from here on out really," Blue
Jays manager John Gibbons said, adding that pitching would be what dictates
how well this team plays.
"We're trying to climb back into this thing. So they go out there every time
and give us a chance to win. We have some veteran guys in our rotation that
have been around that know what it takes to win; they've been there before,
and they have a lot of pride."
R.A. Dickey is the next veteran starter to take the hill for Toronto. He will
be looking to bounce back from a poor outing in which he gave up seven runs on
10 hits to the White Sox on Monday. The loss to Chicago came after Dickey
lasted 8 1/3 innings without giving up a run to San Francisco.
Dickey is 5-11 with a 5.11 ERA on the season after finishing 2012 with a 20-6
record and a 2.73 ERA. The 38-year old knuckleball pitcher has plenty of
experience playing in Arlington as he spent the first five seasons of his
major league career in a Rangers uniform.
Toronto's offense was in sync on Friday as Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind,
Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio all registered a multi-hit game. Rasmus
was not the only Blue Jay to homer as catcher J.P. Arencibia hit a solo shot
in the fourth inning.
The Rangers will hope to get a little more out of the bottom half of their
lineup after a poor performance on Friday. The five- through nine-hole hitters
went 0-for-14 and Elvin Andrus also struggled, going 0-for-3 with two
"That's like trying to hit a butterfly," Andrus said of Saturday's matchup
against a knuckleball specialist. "It's tough, but we've faced a guy like that
before in (former Boston Red Sox pitcher) Tim Wakefield, and you can go from
Texas will hand the ball to right-hander Josh Lindblom on Saturday. The 26-
year-old is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in two starts this season but owns a 3.56 ERA
in his career.
The Rangers are in danger of losing five consecutive home games for the first
time since Sept. 2009. They are just 1-4 against Toronto this season but have
won six of the past 11 meetings dating back to last year.
06/15 10:28:21 ET