American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, July 26th
(All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (53-44) at Toronto Blue Jays (48-49), 12:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (9-6, 3.34)
Toronto - Aaron Laffey (2-1, 2.77)
(Sports Network) - Tommy Milone tries to lead the Oakland Athletics to an
eighth straight win on Thursday when they complete a three-game set against
Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Milone struck out 10 and held the high-powered offense of the New York Yankees
to just six hits over seven scoreless innings on Friday, but had nothing to
show for it, as he did not get a decision in his team's 3-2 win that night.
"I think we're just all feeding off of each other's energy right now," Milone
said. "It's fun to watch, and it's fun to be a part of."
Milone, who has never faced the Blue Jays, has won three of his last four
decisions and is 9-6 on the year with a 3.34 ERA.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Aaron Laffey, who is 2-1 with a
2.77 ERA. Laffey won his second straight start on Friday in Boston, as he
scattered eight hits over seven scoreless innings. He also struck out four
without walking a batter.
"He uses a very successful recipe, and he throws a lot of strikes early in the
count," Farrell said. "He puts the ball on the ground, and I think what he
really has done a very good job at is understanding who he is as a pitcher,
and he's refined two pitches.
"Even though that fastball can be varied with the different way he'll cut it,
or sink it, he stays out of the middle of the plate, where at times we've seen
his breaking ball can stay in the middle and be seen by the hitter a little
bit early in the flight of the pitch."
Laffey is 1-1 in six appearances (1 start) against the A's with a 1.84 ERA.
Oakland won for the 16th time in 18 games this month on Wednesday, as Coco
Crisp hit a pair of solo homers and scored three times and Yoenis Cespedes hit
a pair of doubles and drove in a two in the Athletics' 16-0 rout.
Another win today would give the A's their first eight-game winning streak
since a 10-game run from June 8-18, 2006.
A.J. Griffin (3-0) tossed six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and
walked two while fanning a career-high nine batters, helping the A's move to
16-2 this month.
"We're winning games now the way we were losing games in the first half,"
Gomes said. "Teams were taking advantage of our mistakes, our errors."
Edwin Encarnacion and Anthony Gose both doubled for the Blue Jays, losers in
six of 11 since the All-Star break.
Ricky Romero (8-7) was pegged with the loss after giving up eight runs on four
hits and six walks in just 1 1/3 innings of work.
"For me to come out and have that kind of performance is tough," Romero said.
"It was a complete embarrassment."
To make matter worse, Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia suffered a fractured
right hand and is expected to miss up to six weeks. The 26-year-old took a
foul tip off his throwing hand in the second inning.
These teams split a brief two-game set in Oakland from May 8-9, as well as 10
overall meetings last season. The A's have won in five of their last six
visits to the Rogers Centre, however.
07/26 10:21:23 ET