For the second straight series, Toronto has the opportunity to do something they have not done since July of last year – sweep a series. The Blue Jays will send rookie Ty Taubenheim(0-1, 4.50) to the mound against White Sox pitcher Jon Garland(3-2, 6.12) to try and close out this series. A win by the Blue Jays today will set up a 1st place deciding series with the Boston Red Sox.
Alex Rios looks to extend his career best hitting streak to 14 games and continue his great month of May where he has hit .351 with 4 HRs and 17 RBI’s. Shea Hillenbrand has also been hitting the ball extremely well this month, posting a .351 AVG with 4 HR’s and 11 RBI’s.
No word as to whether John McDonald will start at short today after pulling a groin muscle in yesterday’s 11-inning win over the White Sox. If McDonald is unable to go, then the Jays will start minor league veteran Luis Figueroa. In other injury news, while doing an interview with Rogers Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell, J.P. Ricciardi said that A.J. Burnett is still atleast 3 weeks away from returning.
The Jays will look to wrap up the series tonight with a win against the Angels in the rubber match of the 3 game series. Roy Halladay(5-1, 2.74) takes to the mound for the Jays and looks to continue his dominating performance in May and capture his 6th win of the year in the process. The Angels will send John Lackey(3-3, 3.61) to the hill to try and slow down a Jays offense that picked up 14 hits in last nights ballgame. Troy Glaus is expected to return to lineup tonight after missing 2 games with a sore elbow after being hit by an Ervin Santana(4-1, 4.50) pitch in the first inning of Tuesday’s game.
Look for Russ Adams to continue his good play as of late. In his last 3 games Adams’ is hitting
.417 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Adams also done well in his last start against Lackey, going 2 for 3. If I’m John Gibbons, I will try to get Greg Zaun into the lineup tonight. Zaun has enjoyed some hitting success at Angel Stadium going 4 for 5 with a HR and Double in 2 games this season.
After a well deserved day off, the Toronto Blue Jays are back in action tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim. The Jays will send Ted Lilly(4-2, 3.24) to the mound against the Angels’ Ervin Santana(3-1, 4.79). In his last outing against the Jays, Santana was rocked for 6 runs on 9 hits in 4 innings pitched as the jays cruised to a 13-3 victory. Lilly has been a bright spot in the Jays rotation so far this year and will look to pick up his 5th victory of the season.
The Jays are 6-2 in their last 8 games and will be seeking to improve that record tonight. With the Yankees losing last night to the Rangers, the Jays now only sit a half game back of second place in the AL East.
This afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays will look to win their second straight game at Tropicana Field. Toronto will send Josh Towers(0-7, 10.09) to the mound against the Devil Ray’s Cassey Fossum(1-1, 5.36). This start could be Towers’ last chance to turn his season around. After signing on off-season contract to the tune of $5.2m over 2 years, Towers has been…..well lets just say that hitters haven’t minded seeing this righty on the mound. In seven starts this season Towers has allowed 34 ER good for 5th on the MLB most runs allowed list. If Towers is unable to turn the tide on his season so far Gibby may be forced to send Josh to the minors and give a young pitcher a chance to win some games. As to who would replace Josh? well that remains to be seen, but in my opinion the front runners right now are Ty Taubenheim who in 7 starts in AAA Syracuse has a record of 2-2 with a sparkling 1.24 ERA, or Josh Banks(1-1, 2.85 in 7 starts).
With the southpaw Fossum on the mound look to see Reed Johnson and Alex Rios in their respective corners in the outfield. Rios is entering today’s game with .365 AVG good enough for second in the Majors. Reed Johnson is also entering this game with a very good AVG at .361, but almost more impressive than his hitting has been Johnson’s defense. In last couple games Johnson has made some spectacular catches and continues to hold runners from advancing with that powerful arm.
As a side note in this game, look to see Jonny Gomes and Troy Glaus battle it out in the American League HR derby. Gomes is second in the AL with 13 while Glaus sits third with 12. Gomes has the lead on the battle right now with a solo HR in last nights game, while Glaus has just come up short on a number of times, including last nights amazing catch by Ray’s OF Carl Crawford.