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News » Blue Jays-Athletics Preview 2009-05-10

Blue Jays-Athletics Preview 2009-05-10

Blue Jays-Athletics Preview 2009-05-10
The Toronto Blue Jays rebounded from two subpar hitting performances to even their series with the Oakland Athletics.

In their attempt to win the three-game set in Oakland on Sunday, the Blue Jays will face a starter who proved effective against them last month.

Toronto, which leads the majors in runs (199) and batting average (.292), came into Saturday having produced a combined four runs and 11 hits in consecutive losses. In a 6-4 victory, the Blue Jays jumped on the A's early with single runs in four of the first five innings and added two in the eighth while reaching 15 hits for the ninth time this season.

"We ran into pitchers who made good pitches," outfielder Adam Lind told Toronto's official Web site. "I don't think we were down. We just lost a couple of games. This shows we can bounce back."

With six wins in nine games, the Blue Jays (21-12) moved back into sole possession of first in the AL East - a game ahead of Boston - and maintained their league-best record.

After batting 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position during its slide, Toronto had four hits in 16 opportunities Saturday. The Blue Jays needed that performance as reliever Scott Downs allowed three runs in the ninth before getting Landon Powell to pop out with the bases loaded.

Toronto will look to make it two straight wins as it matches up against Oakland's Dallas Braden (3-3, 2.50 ERA), but the left-hander yielded only five singles in a 1-0 loss at Rogers Centre on April 19 - his first career start against the Blue Jays.

Braden, who has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his six outings this season, gave up a season-high five runs - three earned - over six innings in Tuesday night's 5-3 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Angels.

"(Errors) are going to happen," Braden told the team's official Web site. "You have to be able to pitch around that."

Oakland has averaged 2.0 runs of support during Braden's six starts and committed two errors in each of the past two games.

Despite going 2 for 10 in the series, second baseman Aaron Hill, who leads Toronto in batting average (.351) and home runs (8), had a hit in his sixth straight game and will look to extend that by adding to a six-game hit streak against the A's (11-17). Hill singled off Braden in the April 19 win.

Lind, who drove in two runs on two hits Saturday, is also on a six-game hitting streak and has a hit in eight consecutive games versus Oakland.

Blue Jays prospect Brett Cecil (0-0, 1.50) will try to follow up Brian Tallet's stellar effort in Saturday's game - one run and two hits allowed over seven innings - and help Toronto to its 10th win over Oakland in 12 games. In his major league debut Tuesday night, the 38th selection in the 2007 draft struck out six and gave up one earned run in six innings at home against Cleveland.

With two home runs Saturday for his 38th career multihomer game, Oakland's Jason Giambi moved within one of 400 for his career. He has 36 career homers against Toronto - tied with his 36 versus Texas for his most against any opponent.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 10, 2009

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