Not even an earthquake could prevent Toronto from earning a rare interleague win in its last contest. There’s a good chance the Blue Jays can make it two straight with Brett Cecil(notes) on the mound.
Cecil looks for a sixth consecutive victory when the Blue Jays continue their road series with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
John Buck(notes) homered twice while Aaron Hill(notes) added three doubles and the duo drove in all of Toronto’s runs in a 6-3 win at San Diego on Monday. The game was delayed briefly during the bottom of the eighth inning, when Petco Park swayed during a reported 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered about 85 miles east of San Diego.
“They happen so fast that there’s nothing you can do,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.
The earthquake was the only thing to shake Toronto (35-30), which bounced back from a weekend sweep at Colorado to improve to 2-5 both in interleague play and on a nine-game road trip. The Blue Jays are 9-16 against NL teams since the start of last season.
Toronto appears to have a good chance to improve on that mark with Cecil (7-2, 3.22 ERA) taking the ball for the first time against the NL West-leading Padres (37-27).
Cecil, who began the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, has posted a 1.49 ERA while becoming the first Blue Jay left-hander since Gustavo Chacin(notes) (Oct. 2, 2005-Apr. 25, 2006) to win five straight starts. He allowed one run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
“You can’t say enough about Cecil,” Gaston told the Blue Jays’ official website.
Cecil, who doesn’t turn 24 until next month, has a 7.20 ERA and no record in two career interleague starts.
Buck’s 11 homers this season are three more than he hit with Kansas City in all of 2009. The catcher is 7 for 17 in his last five games.
Hill, who has recorded four of his nine doubles in the last two games, is 7 for 21 in his last five games overall.
The 22-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and two hits while striking out eight in six innings to outpitch Johan Santana(notes) in a 4-2 win over the New York Mets on Thursday. Latos is 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA and 47 strikeouts in his last seven starts.
“I know with what I’ve got, if I can get ahead in the count 0-2, 1-2, I’ve got stuff that I can put away a lot of guys,” said Latos, who allowed one run over six innings of an 8-1 win May 23 at Seattle in his only previous interleague start.
Adrian Gonzalez(notes) and Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes) homered Monday to provide two of San Diego’s six hits. The Padres are 4-3 in interleague play on the season but trying to avoid a third straight loss after dropping Sunday’s series finale 4-2 to Seattle.
Gonzalez 20 for 48 with 16 RBIs in his last 12 games. Six of his 15 homers this season have come during that hot streak.