Hoping to continue their recovery from a dismal trip last month, the Blue Jays go for their third consecutive road win over the Rangers as the clubs conclude a rain-shortened three-game series Thursday night.
Toronto (34-27) went winless on a nine-game trip from May 19-27, getting outscored 53-23 while putting together the longest road trip without a victory in franchise history.
The Blue Jays snapped their road skid with a 6-3 victory in the opener of this series Monday, then routed the Rangers 9-0 on Tuesday night for their fifth shutout of the season. Wednesday’s matchup was postponed because of rain.
Marco Scutaro(notes), Aaron Hill(notes) and Adam Lind(notes) drove in two runs apiece and Brian Tallet(notes) gave up two hits over seven innings Tuesday as Toronto won its fourth straight against Texas (33-25) since dropping the teams’ first meeting April 21.
“If you have to depend on one or two guys every night to hit, it’s tough,” said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, whose club is 13-17 away from home and hasn’t won three straight road games since April 15-24. “It was a team win.”
While the Blue Jays appear to be getting back on track, the Rangers have dropped six of nine. They’ve been held to two hits twice in their last four games.
“We got it handed to us tonight in all phases of the game,” manager Ron Washington said. “Tallet shut us down. We were too aggressive. We usually figure it out and catch up, but we didn’t.”
The Rangers’ offense won’t be getting help from Josh Hamilton(notes) anytime soon. The All-Star outfielder, on the disabled list since June 2, had surgery Tuesday to repair a partially torn abdominal muscle and will be out of the lineup four to six more weeks.
With its bats struggling, Texas could use another strong outing from Kevin Millwood(notes) (5-4, 2.96 ERA). The right-hander got his first win in four starts by limiting Boston to one unearned run in seven innings of a 5-1 road victory Friday.
Millwood is 1-4 with a 6.25 ERA in eight career starts against Toronto. Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen(notes), who’s delivered three hits in each of his last two games to boost his batting average to .314, is 19 for 56 (.339) with two homers and six doubles in his career against Millwood.
The Blue Jays will hand the ball to Ricky Romero(notes) (3-2, 4.10), coming off his first win in three starts since missing more than a month with a strained right oblique. The rookie left-hander gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings to beat Kansas City 9-3 on Friday, his first victory since April 19.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Romero said. “I still have some work to do. I haven’t gotten a feel for that changeup that I had earlier in the year.”
Romero is making his first appearance against the Rangers, who are hitting .198 against left-handers since May 16.
Blog Coverage from SB Nation
- Blue Jays-Rangers Preview
- MLB player Delmon Young charged with attacking attendant
- Clippard, Diamondbacks agree to $12.25M, 2-year contract
- Catcher Jason Castro, Astros argue salary arbitration case
- Mets sign outfielder Bernadina to minor league contract
- Jesse Chavez beats Blue Jays in arbitration, awarded $4M