Athletics at Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays hope to build off an offensive explosion last time out when they open a four-game series against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Thursday night. The Blue Jays recorded 15 hits, including seven for extra bases, in a 12-1 victory at the New York Mets on Wednesday afternoon to snap a three-game losing streak and sneak back over the .500 mark (22-21).
Justin Smoak (six RBIs in his last four outings) and Teoscar Hernandez (7-for-20 during his five-game hitting streak) each went deep while Richard Urena launched a three-run blast for Toronto on Wednesday after it managed seven runs the previous three contests. Aaron Sanchez will try to follow up a strong outing from J.A. Happ with another when he takes the mound for the Blue Jays in the series opener and Oakland counters with fellow right-hander Andrew Triggs, who has 42 strikeouts over 39 innings this year. The Athletics started a difficult nine-game stretch by losing five of six against Houston and the New York Yankees before winning two of three at Boston, but dropped the finale 6-4 on Wednesday. Marcus Semien homered in that contest and is 10-for-29 with six RBIs during a six-game hitting streak for Oakland.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, MLB Network, Sportsnet (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Andrew Triggs (3-1, 5.31 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Aaron Sanchez (2-3, 4.08)
Triggs has alternated strong and rough starts over his past six appearances after getting touched up for six runs over 4 1/3 innings at the Yankees last Saturday in a no-decision. The 29-year-old USC product owns two quality starts in his last four trips to the mound and limited opponents to two or fewer runs in five of eight overall. Josh Donaldson is 1-for-1 versus Triggs, who allowed two hits and one unearned run in one inning during his only career outing against Toronto.
Sanchez threw just 60 of 96 pitches for strikes last time out against Boston, permitting three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks over five innings in a no-decision. The 25-year-old California native had a stretch of four straight quality starts before giving up 11 runs (eight earned) over 14 2/3 innings across his last three appearances. Sanchez, who is 0-1 in four starts at home in 2018, yielded six runs over 6 1/3 innings in three career appearances versus Oakland.
1. The Athletics will place C Bruce Maxwell (legal issues) on the restricted list for the Toronto series and recall C Josh Phegley.
2. The Blue Jays won five of the seven meetings in the series last season, including all four in Toronto.
3. Toronto recalled RHP Danny Barnes and optioned RHP Deck McGuire to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday.