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Blue Jays-Athletics Preview 2009-05-09


Blue Jays-Athletics Preview 2009-05-09
The high-powered offense that has helped lead the Toronto Blue Jays to the most wins in the AL has suddenly cooled off.

The Blue Jays look to get their offense back on track and avoid dropping three straight games for the first time all season when they continue their three-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Toronto (20-12) leads the majors in runs (193) and batting average (.290), but has scored just four times while losing its last two games after plating 23 en route to winning its previous two.

In Friday's 5-3 loss, the Blue Jays went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. Aaron Hill, who leads Toronto in batting average (.357) and home runs (eight) and is second in RBIs (28), went 1 for 5, leaving four runners on base.

"One or two more hits and we win that ballgame," manager Cito Gaston said.

The Blue Jays, who opened this month with five victories in six games, dropped percentage points behind first-place Boston in the AL East with Friday's loss. Toronto hasn't lost three in a row since Sept. 21-24.

The A's (11-16), meanwhile, won their second in a row following a four-game skid.

Ryan Sweeney hit a two-run homer during Oakland's five-run second inning. He was hitting sixth for the second straight game after leading off in his first 24.

"I feel comfortable in whatever spot they put me in," said Sweeney, who is 3 for 7 since being dropped in the order. "Nothing's ever written in stone and we had a million different lineups last year, so you never know."

Sean Gallagher (1-0, 3.86 ERA) looks to lead Oakland to its first three-game winning streak of 2009 when he makes his first start of the year.

Gallagher is making a spot start for the injured Brett Anderson, who is nursing a blister on a finger on his left hand. After Anderson was forced to leave his last outing, Gallagher threw 3 2-3 scoreless innings in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

Gallagher made 21 starts last season for Oakland and the Chicago Cubs. In his two starts against the Blue Jays, the right-hander posted a 7.88 ERA in losing both.

Toronto's Brian Tallet (1-1, 5.11) is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season.

Tallet, who was tagged for 10 runs in four innings of an 11-3 loss at Kansas City on April 29, didn't give up a hit through the first six innings against Cleveland on Monday before yielding three runs and four hits in seventh. The left-hander was lifted after the seventh in the Blue Jays' 9-7, 12-inning loss.

Tallet, who started the season in Toronto's bullpen, made his first start on April 18 against Oakland, yielding two runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-2 win in 12 innings. It was his first start since Aug. 7, 2006 against Baltimore.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 9, 2009

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