White Sox-Blue Jays Preview

The Toronto Blue Jays had little trouble finding offense in their series-opening win against the Chicago White Sox, and may need a similar effort Tuesday night with the inconsistent R.A. Dickey on the mound.

A similar sentiment holds true for the White Sox and John Danks.

Fresh off their first back-to-back victories in nearly three weeks, the Blue Jays try to match their longest win streak of the season against a White Sox team that has dropped six of seven.

Toronto (21-26) scored four runs in the first inning Monday en route to a 6-0 victory for its first win streak since May 6-9.

Chris Colabello had two RBIs and Josh Donaldson hit his 10th home run to support Drew Hutchison’s four-hitter.

Dickey (2-4, 5.49 ERA) enjoyed similar offensive support in a complete-game 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, but has otherwise not been as fortunate. Prior to his latest win, he managed one quality start in his last six tries – allowing one run in eight innings against the New York Yankees on May 4 – and owns a 6.93 ERA in that span with a 3.58 run support average.

Still, with only two runs surrendered through eight innings Thursday, Dickey was plenty encouraged by the improvement in his primary pitch.

"Tonight you saw big swings and movement, you saw change in speeds, I saw less and less rotation throughout the night on the knuckleball, which is key," Dickey told MLB’s official website. "The ones that got hit tonight were balls that were similar to ones I had been throwing in the last month, where they kind of rolled up there because I had a mechanical breakdown.

"I’m going to continue to build in the proper mechanic and return to some of the basics that I came into this knuckleball journey with and we’ll see what happens."

The White Sox (19-23) have hit Dickey hard in the last two meetings, scoring 12 runs with six homers over 11 innings. Jose Abreu hit two home runs and Alexei Ramirez also went deep in the latest one, a 5-4 Chicago victory June 27.

Danks (2-4, 5.11) picked up the win in that contest, and will again oppose Dickey while looking to solve his own inconsistency.

After allowing three runs and striking out 10 over 14 innings in his previous two starts, the left-hander yielded five runs, six hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-2 loss to Cleveland on Thursday.

"The last two times out he came out strong," manager Robin Ventura said. "(Thursday) that wasn’t the case. He didn’t pitch well."

Danks may have the misfortune of facing Jose Bautista following consecutive off days for the slugger. Bautista received a cortisone shot on Sunday to relieve his ailing shoulder, and will serve as Toronto’s designated hitter on Tuesday if he is pain-free.

Donaldson is 8 for 17 with five RBIs in his last four games versus Chicago. He is 4 for 9 with a home run against Danks.

Chicago has totaled 13 runs and batted .187 during its 1-6 stretch and could be without right fielder Avisail Garcia on Tuesday. Garcia, who leads the team with an .821 OPS, left in the second inning Monday with soreness in his right knee, and his status is uncertain.