Blue Jays-Astros Preview
JUL 31, 2014 12:07a ET
After sweeping their fourth road series of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays continue to surge.
The visiting Blue Jays will try for a sixth consecutive victory Thursday night against the Houston Astros.
After taking two of three at Yankee Stadium to open a 10-game trip, Toronto (59-50) outscored Boston 24-4 to take all three at Fenway Park. The Blue Jays have hit .317 and averaged 6.2 runs while winning 10 of 12.
Dioner Navarro had three hits with three RBIs and Mark Buehrle threw 6 2-3 strong innings for Toronto, which is 2 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East and three games up on the Yankees and Seattle for the second wild-card spot.
The Jays will try to stay hot behind Drew Hutchison (7-9, 4.44 ERA), who makes his first appearance versus Houston (44-64).
The right-hander is 2-5 with a 7.71 ERA in eight home starts, but 5-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 13 on the road this season. He posted a 7.63 ERA during a three-start road skid that ended Saturday, when he gave up only a two-run homer in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-4 victory at New York.
"Things that have happened previously, there's nothing you can do about them once they happen," Hutchison told MLB's official website. "It's a fresh game, go out there and do everything you can do to give your team a chance to win."
Toronto dropped its first five games at Houston before winning 2-1 on Aug. 25.
After losing five in a row, the Astros took two of three at home from an Oakland team that owns the best record in the majors. Dallas Keuchel allowed a run and four hits en route to recording a complete game in Wednesday's 8-1 victory.
"I feel like we can play with anybody," he said. "When we play to our potential, we can."
Second baseman Jose Altuve is batting .396 during a 12-game hitting streak, and .353 in the last four against the Blue Jays.
Jarred Cosart was supposed to start for Houston, but he was traded to Miami in a six-player deal Thursday. Jake Buchanan (1-1, 5.56) will instead get the ball.
The right-hander made his major league debut June 21 against Tampa Bay and allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-0 loss. He's since posted a 2.57 ERA in four relief appearances, last throwing 2 1-3 scoreless innings against the Marlins on Sunday.
Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera is batting .400 in his last seven games. He's hitting .365 with two home runs and five doubles in his last 12 against Houston.
Navarro is batting .344 with 11 RBIs in his last 16 games and .323 in nine at Minute Maid Park.