American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, August 15
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (63-59) at Chicago White Sox (57-64), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.34)
Chicago - Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.67)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto starter R.A. Dickey thinks his team is ready to
go on a winning streak.
The Blue Jays hope to prove their hurler right on Friday night when they begin
a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.
Toronto has lost nine of its last 12 on the heels of a six-game winning
streak, dropping the club 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Baltimore
Orioles in the American League East.
The Blue Jays also sit 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot, a more reasonable
goal due to their current drought.
Toronto was just outscored 19-4 in getting swept in three games by the Seattle
Mariners, shut out 2-0 in Wednesday's finale. Dickey took the loss, giving up
two runs over six frames.
"We have been streaky ... we are due for a good one," Dickey said.
The return of Edwin Encarnacion could help. The slugger is expected to rejoin
the club after a four-game rehab stint in the minor leagues, made necessary
after Encarnacion suffered a strained right quadriceps muscle back in early
"I want to try to get ready and serve my team so we can get to where we want
to be, the playoffs," Encarnacion said on Toronto's website. "I feel great,
I'm just trying to get my timing back. I just want to get ready here to get
back to the big leagues with my team."
The right-hander hit .277 with 26 homers and 70 RBI in 88 games before getting
Rookie Marcus Stroman gets the call for the Blue Jays tonight and is 7-3 with
a 3.34 earned run average this season.
The 23-year-old had a three-start win streak stopped with a 6-1 loss to
Houston on Aug. 3 as he allowed five runs over three innings. He bounced back
to become the first Toronto rookie since 2004 to toss nine innings in a game
when he did so versus Detroit on Saturday, but Stroman took a no-decision
despite allowing only two runs as the Blue Jays needed 10 innings to beat the
Stroman faced the White Sox for the first time in his career back on June 28
and the righty scattered two runs on two hits and a pair of walks over 6 2/3
frames of a no-decision.
The White Sox counter with right-hander Hector Noesi, who has never started
against the Blue Jays but has posted a 4.76 ERA against them in five relief
Noesi has won four of his past six decisions and is coming off a no-decision
versus Seattle on Saturday. The 27-year-old pitched very well, charged with
only one unearned run over 7 1/3 innings.
Noesi is 6-8 with a 4.67 ERA on the year.
The White Sox have lost six of their last eight and were undone on Wednesday
by the controversial rules aimed at cutting down on home plate collisions.
Chicago lost to the San Francisco Giants 7-1 after having an out at home plate
The White Sox had a 1-0 lead in the seventh before Joe Panik hit a broken-bat
grounder to first baseman Jose Abreu, who threw home to get Gregor Blanco for
what appeared to be the inning's second out.
Blanco slid to the back side of the plate to avoid catcher Tyler Flowers, who
tagged him. But Flowers was straddling the plate before the ball arrived -- a
no-no under the new rule -- and the call was overturned by the MLB replay
operations center in New York, tying the game.
Chicago manager Robin Ventura was irate and earned an immediate ejection for
coming out of the dugout to argue. Ventura's protest turned old-school when he
kicked dirt over the plate.
"We made the play and the guy was out," said Ventura. "They don't take into
consideration the guy was out by a long shot, so I obviously don't agree with
The Giants went on to score seven runs in the frame.
The White Sox won three of four versus the hosting Blue Jays from June 26-29.
08/15 10:34:10 ET