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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 26th (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (34-67) at Toronto Blue Jays (46-55), 7:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Jordan Lyles (4-4, 4.78) Toronto - R.A. Dickey (8-11, 4.75)

(Sports Network) - Former National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey can follow a teammate's mound gem with one of his own on Friday night, when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Houston Astros in game two of a four-game set at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays ended a seven-game losing streak in Thursday's opener thanks to the work of starter Mark Buehrle, who allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out a season-best nine batters in a 4-0 victory.

Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind helped back Buehrle's shutout by providing an RBI apiece. Maicer Izturis knocked in a pair and Jose Reyes finished 3-for-4 in the victory.

"I had a lot of stuff working for me," Buehrle said.

Houston's Erik Bedard (3-8) struck out six and allowed one run on three hits over five innings. He has lost five straight starts.

The Astros, losers in 11 of their last 13 games, didn't record a hit until the fifth inning.

"What we witnessed tonight was an experienced major league pitcher who executed a game plan," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "It was pretty evident that he had a good game plan of how he was going to attack our hitters."

Dickey, a 20-game winner with the New York Mets last season before a trade to the Blue Jays, got to 8-8 this season with an 8-3 defeat of Detroit on July 1, but has since lost three straight starts.

He's allowed 13 runs on 19 hits in 19 innings across those outings, which have resulted in defeats against Minnesota, Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

He's 4-6 in 11 home starts in Toronto this season and 6-8 there in 16 career appearances with a 6.01 earned run average, his sixth-highest in any big- league ballpark.

Dickey has split four decisions in eight lifetime meetings with Houston.

He faces Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles, who was just five years old when Dickey was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1996.

Lyles won a combined seven games in 45 appearances with the Astros in his initial two stints in the big leagues in 2011 and 2012, and has split eight decisions in 15 starts this season with a 4.78 ERA in 64 2/3 innings.

The 22-year-old hasn't won since June 18 against Milwaukee, against whom he allowed a single run on seven hits in seven innings of work.

He's 0-3 in five starts since, including a 12-5 loss to Seattle on July 21 in which he was shelled for eight hits and 10 runs in four innings.

The Astros won five of the first six games played by the two franchises, including a three-game sweep in Houston in 2005 and two of three in Toronto in 2011.

07/26 10:28:06 ET

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