Blue Jays-Angels Preview

The Associated PressAugust 4, 2013

As C.J. Wilson looks to bounce back from his shortest outing of the season for the Los Angeles Angels, Mark Buehrle hopes to continue his current run of success and help the Toronto Blue Jays get back on track.

Riding a 20-inning scoreless stretch, Buehrle tries to prevent the visiting Blue Jays from being swept in their four-game set against Wilson and the Angels on Sunday.

Los Angeles (51-58) dropped the final six of a seven-game trip to Oakland and Texas to conclude July, but has totaled 22 runs while hitting .360 against Toronto (50-60) after Saturday's 7-3 win.

Looking to record their second home series sweep of at least three games, the Angels could be in for a serious challenge against Buehrle (7-7, 4.27 ERA). The veteran left-hander has not allowed a run since the third inning of a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay on July 20.

"He does everything right,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's 'old reliable.' He's been around for a while and has had a tremendous career.''

Buehrle has yielded seven hits and struck out 11 over 16 innings of his last two starts. He stifled Oakland for seven innings in Tuesday's 5-0 win, scattering five hits.

"You still have to make your pitches and hit location and it is still a lot of luck,'' he said.

If anything, Gibbons needs Buehrle to show some stamina since Toronto starters have lasted 11 innings in the previous three games. The Blue Jays were already swept in a four-game set at Yankee Stadium April 25-28.

"Starting pitching is the name of the game, and it's really hurt us this year,'' Gibbons said.

Including the postseason, Buehrle is 3-7 with a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts against the Angels, but he has not faced them since 2011.

Howie Kendrick is batting .353 (6 for 17) with four extra-base hits against Buehrle and had three hits with an RBI in Los Angeles' 7-3 victory Saturday. He's hitting .324 with six RBIs in the last eight contests.

Angels rookie outfielder Kole Calhoun went 2 for 9 in the first four games since making his season debut last Sunday, but is 7 for 13 in the series and has homered the last two contests. He delivered a two-run, go-ahead home run off All-Star reliever Steve Delabar in Friday's 7-5 victory.

"(Friday) night was definitely a lot of fun, and (Saturday) was just another good team win,'' Calhoun said.

Wilson (11-6, 3.48) allowed five earned runs over 36 innings to win four of five starts before he gave up six runs and a season-high 11 hits while throwing 109 pitches in four innings of a wild 14-11, 10-inning loss at Texas on Tuesday.

The left-hander went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays last season.

Ex-Angel Maicer Izturis is batting .355 (11 for 31) with three doubles against Wilson, but is 1 for 10 in the series and 5 for 43 (.116) in his last 14 games.

Teammate Edwin Encarnacion went 2 for 3 with an RBI on Saturday, and is batting .409 (9 for 22) in his last seven against the Angels.