Toronto (8-4) at Texas (5-7)

Fair Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Apr 17, 2005
  • TV: TSN, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Blue Jays are all alone atop the American League East, and their largely unheralded pitching staff has done its part to get them there.

The Blue Jays try for their fourth straight series win as they wrap up a four-game set with the Texas Rangers at Ameriquest Field.

The Blue Jays beat the Rangers 8-0 on Saturday for their second win in the series. Rookie Gustavo Chacin threw eight brilliant innings for Toronto, earning his third victory in as many starts.

The shutout was Toronto’s first since a 7-0 win over the New York Yankees last Oct. 1. The Rangers had not been blanked since a 9-0 defeat to the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 26.

Toronto’s pitching staff owned a 3.66 ERA coming in, the third best mark in the AL. Blue Jays starters have allowed three runs or fewer in nine of their 12 games.

The Blue Jays won each of their first three series, and can get no worse than a split in this one.

Josh Towers will look to give Toronto another strong outing Sunday. Towers allowed two earned runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.

He gave up just one earned run and four hits over six innings in his season debut, an 8-5 Toronto loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on April 6. The 28-year-old right-hander won a career-best nine games last season, but lost five straight decisions in his last six starts.

Shea Hillenbrand went 3-for-4 with a homer Saturday for Toronto, while Gregg Zaun, John McDonald and Orlando Hudson each had two hits.

Reed Johnson was hit by three pitches, setting a franchise record and matching the major league mark set 21 times. The bases were loaded two of the times Johnson was hit.

“Anything to help the team score some runs,” Johnson said. “It makes the job easier for everyone else.”

Hank Blalock had two hits for the Rangers, who have lost four of six.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Towers LAD vs. C. Young Sea
13-12 Record 12-7
3.71 ERA 4.26
112 K 137
29 BB 45
1.27 WHIP 1.26