Philadelphia (36-43) at Toronto (45-34)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 4:07 pm EDT Sat Jul 1, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi made several personnel moves in the offseason so the Blue Jays could compete in the AL East. So far, things have gone according to plan.

Surging Toronto looks to extend its season-high winning streak to five games when they continue their series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With an 8-1 rout in the opener of the three-game set on Friday, Toronto (45-32) continued its best start since 1999. Lyle Overbay homered in each of the first two innings and finished with five RBIs as Toronto gained ground on first-place Boston.

The Blue Jays begin play in third place in the AL East, one game behind the New York Yankees and four in back of the Red Sox.

“It will happen. The Red Sox are doing it. It’s just a matter of finding our groove,” said Overbay, who was acquired from Milwaukee in December as part of a five-player deal with third baseman Corey Koskie going to the Brewers.

Boston’s 12-game losing streak ended Friday when it was defeated by Florida.

Former AL rookie of the year Eric Hinske, leading off for the first time and playing in place of injured right fielder Alex Rios, also hit a homer estimated at 442 feet for the Jays.

“It just a matter of getting a chance,” said Hinske, who lost his platoon job to Rios.

Rios, who was enjoying a breakout season batting .330 with 15 homers and 53 RBIs, is hospitalized with a serious infection in his lower left leg that may keep him out until after the All-Star break.

Rookie Ty Taubenheim (0-4, 5.09 ERA) returns to the Toronto rotation again in search of his first career win. The right-hander was placed back in the rotation in place of struggling Josh Towers, who was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday.

Taubenheim, making his first career appearance against the Phillies, has allowed at least three runs in four of his five career starts. He also has not pitched more than six innings in any start.

David Dellucci’s eighth-inning homer Friday helped Philadelphia (36-43) avoid the shutout, but not their 16th loss in 20 games.

“It’s tough. Things haven’t gone the way we wanted them to,” catcher Sal Fasano said.

Cory Lidle (4-6, 5.11) looks for his first win in eight starts when he takes the mound for Philadelphia. Since beating Boston on May 21, the right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.49 ERA.

Against the Red Sox on Monday, Lidle was tagged for four runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings of an 8-7, 12-inning defeat. He is 2-5 with a 6.75 ERA in seven career appearances, including five starts, versus the Blue Jays.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Lidle NYY vs. T. Taubenheim Tex
12-10 Record 1-5
4.85 ERA 4.89
130 K 26
58 BB 18
1.40 WHIP 1.66