American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, August 25th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (57-73) at Houston Astros (43-85), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Mark Buehrle (9-7, 4.23)
Houston - Dallas Keuchel (5-7, 5.11)
(Sports Network) - Toronto Blue Jays hope to snap a seven-game losing streak
and Sunday afternoon and avoid getting swept in a three-game series by the
Mark Buehrle will get the call on Sunday for the Blue Jays, and since losing
back-to-back games in mid-July, he has turned his season around with wins in
four of his past six outings to improve his record to 9-7 and lower his ERA to
The veteran southpaw was fantastic in his latest outing, yielding just two
earned runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Yankees on Aug. 20, but he was
saddled with the no-decision as Toronto fell, 3-2.
The bad news for Buehrle is that he has struggled mightily away from Rogers
Centre this season, winning just two of his 13 road starts with a 5.63 ERA.
The Astros will counter with Dallas Keuchel, who is in the midst of a poor
sophomore season at 5-7 with a 5.11 ERA. The 25-year-old has been hit hard all
season long, scattering 143 hits over 118 innings pitched while coughing up 18
Keuchel has registered just one win over his last 11 appearances and he's
given up four earned runs or more in three straight contests. He most recently
allowed eight hits, three walks and four earned runs in four innings of work
in an Aug. 17 no-decision versus the Angels.
The lefty earned a win over the Blue Jays back on July 27, but he was roughed
up over the course of 7 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits (three homers) and six
The Blue Jays' losing streak continued on Saturday as the Astros got out to a
big lead early and eventually cruised to an 8-5 victory.
Houston's offense exploded early on as it found itself up 8-0 heading into the
fifth inning. Jason Castro belted two home runs, his 16th and 17th of the
season, and finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
"The biggest thing that I've really been trying to do this year is stay as
consistent as possible and really not deviate from my approach," Castro said.
"I've tried to be as simple as possible and it's worked out so far."
Brandon Barnes was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes
both drove in runs as well.
Brad Peacock (3-4) was far from impressive, scattering six hits, two walks and
five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings, but it was good enough to earn the win.
Chia-Jen Lo pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save.
Chien-Ming Wang (1-2) was handed the loss in the spot start, allowing five
runs (four earned) in three innings.
Kevin Pillar belted a three-run home run in the fifth inning for his first-
career long ball. Edwin Encarnacion also left the yard for the 33rd time this
season, giving him a homer in three straight contests.
The Blue Jays won three of the first four games played with the Astros this
season between July 25-28. They were also swept in their last trip to Houston,
a three-game series from June 10-12, 2005.
08/25 10:31:33 ET