The Blue Jays will get their first look at the impressive rookie in the opener of a three-game road set Monday night.
Toronto (13-13) is tied for the major league lead with 38 homers, hitting 24 at home - the most in baseball. Alex Gonzalez and John Buck(notes) each had three of the Jays’ 10 home runs against Oakland over the weekend, with Toronto winning 9-3 on Sunday to take three of four.
Buck went 8 for 11 with seven RBIs in three starts in the series after going 9 for 58 in his first 18 games. The catcher doubled three times Sunday as the Jays had 10 extra-base hits.
No Toronto hitter has faced Talbot (3-1, 2.05 ERA), who has not allowed a homer in his last 19 1-3 innings and is looking to win his fourth straight start. He gave up one run over 6 1-3 innings to earn a 9-2 road victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday.
This will be the right-hander’s second start at home after he threw a six-hitter in a 6-2 win over Chicago on April 16.
Cleveland (10-14) was outhomered 6-1 over the weekend in losing two of three at home to Minnesota. The Indians fell 8-3 on Sunday and have hit 14 homers, third fewest in the majors.
“We’ve been relying way too much on our pitching,” manager Manny Acta said. “You’re going to need overpowering pitching to win with three runs.”
Cleveland has received solid production from a pair of unheralded hitters. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) went 7 for 14 against the Twins while Austin Kearns(notes) is 11 for 25 during a six-game hitting streak.
The left-hander went 7-4 with a 5.30 ERA as a rookie last season.
“I feel like I’ve gained a little bit of their respect this year,” Cecil told the Blue Jays’ official website.
Cecil was 0-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts versus Cleveland last season, making his major league debut against the Indians on May 5, 2009.
The Blue Jays are 6-3 on the road. They split eight meetings with the Indians last season.
Toronto second baseman Aaron Hill(notes) had at least a hit in each game of that season series, going 12 for 36, while teammate Adam Lind(notes) was 12 for 30 with 12 RBIs. Cleveland center fielder Grady Sizemore(notes), hitting .207 this year, was 5 for 36 with 10 strikeouts versus the Blue Jays in 2009.