The Toronto Blue Jays are guaranteed to finish at the bottom of the AL East for the first time since John Gibbons began his initial managerial stint with the team nine years ago.
The Chicago White Sox have a slim chance to avoid finishing last for the first time in 29 seasons, and they’ll send Jose Quintana to the mound against the visiting Blue Jays on Monday night in the makeup of a rainout.
Toronto (71-84) has dropped eight of 12 and is nearing the end of a disappointing season after acquiring Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey and Melky Cabrera in the offseason.
Though injuries have played a major role in the lack of success, the Blue Jays will finish last for the first time since 2004, when Gibbons took over for the fired Carlos Tosca on Aug. 8 of that year.
He’ll have the dubious distinction of overseeing another last-place club in the first year of his second stint with Toronto.
Chicago (61-94) has also struggled badly and is in danger of finishing last for the first time since ending the 1989 season at the bottom of the AL West. It had lost 18 of 22 before beating Central-leading Detroit 6-3 on Sunday.
Conor Gillaspie, Avisail Garcia and Jeff Keppinger each drove in two runs, with Garcia and Keppinger finishing with three hits apiece.
Quintana (8-6, 3.49 ERA) will take the ball Monday as the White Sox and Blue Jays make up a game originally scheduled for June 12.
The left-hander ended a five-start winless streak by giving up one run in six innings of a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday. He went 0-2 despite a 3.03 ERA during that stretch, receiving five runs of support over 29 2-3 innings.
“He’s been very mature about it, not pointing any fingers,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He wants us to win first and hopefully he gets the win, but he really hasn’t shown a lot of emotions other than if we lose or not. He’s getting better all the time.”
The offense has done its best to help Quintana in both of his starts against the Blue Jays this season. He gave up five hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-0 win April 17 before allowing four runs - two earned - in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-5, 10-inning defeat June 11.
J.A. Happ opposed Quintana in the first outing and allowed five runs in 5 2-3 innings, and he’ll make his second career start against the White Sox on Monday.
Happ (4-6, 4.82) is coming off one of his best starts of the season, allowing one run and striking out a season-high seven in seven-plus innings before the New York Yankees rallied to beat Toronto 4-3 on Wednesday.
It marked the first time the left-hander pitched that deep into a game since going seven innings against Oakland on Aug. 12.
“I thought he was tremendous,” Gibbons said. “He was a different guy. “We (threw) it away, but he’s got to feel good about that outing.”
The White Sox have won six of the last nine meetings.