Blue Jays look to get back on track in Atlanta
The Toronto Blue Jays will try to end a two-game slide when they face the Atlanta Braves in the second of a three-game set in Atlanta on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET.
Although the Braves have won just four times in their past 28 games, they managed to hold the top five hitters in the Blue Jays’ lineup to one hit in 19 at-bats with eight strikeouts in the series opener, a 3-2 Atlanta win on Tuesday night.
Atlanta (57-88) was also able to snap a 12-game home losing streak, despite a solid outing from Toronto starter Mark Buehrle, who gave up one earned run and walked one batter, while surrendering six hits and striking out two in five innings of work.
However, the Blue Jays got some good news late Wednesday afternoon as it was announced that Edwin Encarnacion will return to the lineup and bat fourth.
Encarnacion missed his second consecutive game Tuesday with an injured middle finger on his left hand, but the Blue Jays had been hopeful he would be available at some point in the three-game series.
David Price will take the mound for the Blue Jays (82-62) with Shelby Miller getting his turn in the rotation for the Braves.
Price (15-5, 2.46 ERA) has been outstanding in eight starts since being dealt from Detroit to Toronto at the trade deadline, winning four of his last five outings and six overall.
He beat the Yankees on Friday, striking out seven with two runs allowed on six hits in five innings, and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start with the Blue Jays.
Price has averaged 8.1 strikeouts in his Toronto starts, allowing only three homers in 55 1/3 innings.
Meanwhile, Miller is aiming for his first victory in nearly four months and a stretch of 21 starts. In 13 of those outings, the Braves have not scored a run while he has been in the game.
Furthermore, Miller (5-14, 2.86 ERA) held the Mets to three runs on seven hits in six innings his last time out, but again got no support in a 7-2 defeat.
The Braves have averaged 2.37 runs in Miller’s starts this season, the lowest total for any qualifying starter in the majors.
On May 17, Miller came within one out of a no-hitter, but ended up throwing a two-hit shutout against the Marlins
The Blue Jays lead the Yankees by three games in the AL East and are 37-16 since the All-Star break, fuelled by a high-powered offence.
Toronto’s top three home-run hitters (Josh Donaldson, 38; Jose Bautista, 35; Edwin Encarnacion, 32) have combined for 105 homers, while the Braves as a team have belted just 89.
Encarnacion missed his second consecutive game Tuesday with an injured middle finger on his left hand, however the Blue Jays hope he will be available at some point in the three-game series.
- Toronto first baseman Justin Smoak started for Encarnacion and homered Tuesday, the 95th homer the Blue Jays have slugged on the road this season — second in the majors to Seattle’s 96.
- Blue Jays centre-fielder Ben Revere is hitless in his past eight at-bats after going 10-for-19 in his previous four games; Revere is hitting .325 in 40 games since being traded from Philadelphia to Toronto.
By: CBC Sports0