Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 8th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (15-17) at Toronto Blue Jays (17-17), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (2-1, 2.06) Toronto - R.A. Dickey (2-3, 5.01)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays have been piling on the runs in this series with the Philadelphia Phillies and shoot for their fourth straight win against them Thursday at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays took both meetings in south Philly a few days ago by a combined 9-5 total and handed the Phillies a 10-0 beatdown Wednesday night in their return to the great white north.
Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the third on Jose Reyes' sacrifice fly that scored Colby Rasmus, then the floodgates opened in a nine-run seventh inning. Former Phillie Erik Kratz and Juan Francisco both hit two-run homers and Edwin Encarnacion connected on a three-run blast.
"It was just one of those innings where they hit everything," Phillies starter Cliff Lee said. "They didn't miss a pitch."
Lee was battered for six runs and seven hits, including two homers, in seven innings to fall to 3-3. Phillies relievers Mario Hollands and Shawn Camp allowed two runs apiece in defeat.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle became one of two pitchers to reach the six-win mark (Adam Wainwright) last night by holding Philadelphia to three hits over seven shutout innings with six strikeouts and two walks. Sergio Santos and Chad Jenkins each hurled a scoreless inning of relief.
"I had a couple of quick innings and got in a groove," said Buehrle.
The Blue Jays, winners in four straight and five of seven games, have scored 44 runs in the last seven games and are tied for third in the American League with 166 on the season.
Toronto will also host the LA Angels and Cleveland on this nine-game stay.
Marlon Byrd had two of the Phils' three hits on Wednesday and the club lost for the fifth time in seven tries. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins returned to the lineup Wednesday at designated hitter. He served as a pinch-hitter in the past two games after suffering a groin issue Sunday versus Washington. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
The Phillies have won each of A.J. Burnett's last five starts and hope that trend continues Thursday at Rogers Centre.
Burnett played for the Blue Jays from 2006-08 and signed with the Phillies this offseason. The veteran Burnett is 2-0 with a 0.98 earned run average with 25 strikeouts and five walks in his last four starts, and threw six innings of one-run ball in a 7-2 win over Washington on Saturday.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA in seven starts and has lasted at least six innings in each of his previous four outings. Burnett has struck out at least five batters in the last four appearances and is 3-4 with a 5.64 ERA in 10 career starts against Toronto.
R.A. Dickey will counter Burnett for the Blue Jays and is 1-0 in his last three starts. He did not figure into the decision of an 8-6 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday, as he allowed three runs in six innings of work.
Dickey has lasted at least six innings in the past three appearances and is 2-3 with a 5.01 ERA in seven starts. The right-handed knuckleballer has made nine career starts against the Phillies, going 3-4 with a 2.90 ERA.
The Phillies will visit the New York Mets for three games after their quick series north of the border and have lost seven straight to the Blue Jays. The Jays swept Philly in a three-game set at home from June 15-17, 2012.
05/08 10:16:43 ET