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Rasmus, Blue Jays shoot for quick sweep of hosting Phils
(SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus is heating up over his last few games and will try to continue his success Tuesday in the finale of a quick series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The clubs will play the next two games at Toronto's Rogers Centre.
Rasmus doubled twice in Monday's 3-0 win at Citizens Bank Park and is batting .400 with three home runs, five runs scored and nine RBI in the past five games. Rasmus has five hits in the last two games for the Blue Jays, winners in two straight after a two-game slide.
Jose Reyes homered to lead off the game and Melky Cabrera added two hits in the win, while Toronto starting pitcher and former Phillie J.A. Happ tossed five shutout innings against his old team. Happ made his first start of 2014 and allowed three hits with two strikeouts and four walks.
Esmil Rogers, Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to complete the shutout.
"They did good down there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of his relievers. "They're pretty good."
Cabrera has been hitting the ball well for the Jays and is batting .385 with nine RBI, 11 runs and 25 hits in the past 15 games. Cabrera leads the team with a .341 average.
Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, who has six homers and 21 RBI this season, left in the fourth inning with tightness in his right hamstring and is expected to miss a few games.
Toronto slugger Jose Bautista kept his on-base streak alive when he was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning. He has reached base safely in all 32 of his games this year.
The Blue Jays will start a nine-game homestand Wednesday against Philadelphia, the LA Angels and Cleveland.
Drew Hutchison gets the call for the Blue Jays on Tuesday and he was tagged with a loss in last Wednesday's 4-2 defeat at Kansas City. He gave up all four runs in a season-high seven innings and fell to 1-2 in six starts with a 3.82 ERA this season. Hutchison is 0-2 in his past five outings since winning his season debut on April 1 at Tampa Bay.
Hutchison, who has fanned at least five batters in each of the previous five trips to the mound, has been reached for eight runs in the last three games and the right-hander will make his second career start against the Phillies.
The Phillies were aiming for their third win in a row after taking two of three from the Washington Nationals over the weekend. But Kyle Kendrick continued to struggle and was dealt the loss in seven respectable innings of work. Kendrick, mired in a career-worst eight-game losing streak, fanned four batters, walked three and allowed seven hits.
"I just want to give my team a chance to win," Kendrick said. "Wins are ... sometimes out of your control."
Ben Revere, Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz had two hits apiece for Philadelphia, which entered the game with eight wins in the past 12 tries. Chase Utley ended 0-for-4 and had reached base safely in his past 12 games. Utley has still achieved the feat in 24 of his 27 games this season.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins did not start as a precaution to a groin issue he experienced in Sunday's 1-0 win over the Nationals. He flied out to center field as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and could return to the lineup Tuesday.
Cole Hamels will be returning to the mound for the Phils tonight and had his Sunday start pushed back because of the flu. Hamels has lost both of his starts this season and struggled with control in last Tuesday's rainy 6-1 loss to the New York Mets, who drew five walks and reached the left-hander for six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"I've never seen Cole that erratic, and I'm sure a lot of it was the conditions, and it being early in the year because he missed so much spring training," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But he'll be fine, I'm sure."
Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, is aiming for his first career win over the Blue Jays and is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts against them.
The Phillies, who will visit Toronto and the Mets on an upcoming sojourn, have lost five straight to the Blue Jays. They are playing the Jays in south Philly for the first time since taking two of three games from June 25-27, 2010.
05/06 10:59:52 ET