Blue Jays-Marlins Preview
The Toronto Blue Jays may be relieved to give the ball to a
regular member of the rotation, but at least they can rely on an
offense that continues to produce.
Contrary to historical results, a series against the Miami
Marlins may be coming at the perfect time.
Ricky Romero will try to lead the Blue Jays to a fifth
consecutive victory with him on the mound Friday night when they
open a three-game set against the sputtering Marlins.
Three of Toronto’s starters went on the disabled list last week,
including Kyle Drabek who is out for the season after undergoing
Tommy John surgery. Rookie Drew Hutchison is expected to get a
second opinion on his ailing elbow, and Brandon Morrow has a
strained rib cage muscle.
Those absences have resulted in the Blue Jays (35-34) starting
relievers Joel Carreno and Jesse Chavez while recalling Brett Cecil
from Triple-A Las Vegas. Cecil is scheduled to start Saturday, and
Carreno lasted only three innings – yielding three homers – in
Wednesday’s 8-3 loss at Milwaukee.
Toronto hit .294 with 10 homers and 19 runs against the Brewers,
but dropped two of three in large part because of a 13.97 ERA from
its starting pitchers.
Slugger Jose Bautista has done more than his share lately. He’s
hit 10 of his team-leading 22 homers and driven in 20 runs over the
past 17 games.
“We’ve got to come through as an offensive group and put up a
couple more runs than the usual,” Bautista told the team’s official
website. “Hopefully that’s a good enough cushion for the guys that
are filling in (the starting rotation) that might be out of their
role or in a situation they haven’t been before.”
With all the injuries to the rotation, Toronto more than ever
needs Romero (7-1, 4.28 ERA) to provide quality outings.
The Blue Jays have won each of the left-hander’s last four
starts, providing him with 9.78 runs per game while he’s gone 2-0
with a 5.48 ERA.
Romero struggled early Saturday, allowing four runs in three
innings before exiting after six in a 6-5, 10-inning win over
Though he’s never faced the Marlins, this could be a favorable
matchup for Romero, who’s 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 12 career
interleague starts. Miami (33-36) has lost 13 of 15, averaging 2.4
runs during that span.
Toronto, though, is 4-17 all-time against the Marlins and has
lost eight in a row with the most recent series coming at home in
Miami’s losing streak reached four Thursday when it squandered a
three-run, first-inning lead and a two-run advantage in the eighth
en route to a 6-5 loss at Boston.
“This hurt a lot,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We’ve got to
come back with a winning attitude. Fight for it. Good fighter fight
the fight. Bad fighter throw in the towel.”
Guillen’s club has shown some signs lately, scoring five runs in
each of the last three games after totaling 17 in the previous
Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 3.47) will try to prevent Miami from losing
for the ninth time in 10 home games. He’s won once in his last six
decisions over eight starts while compiling a 4.13 ERA. That
includes going 0-2 with a 6.63 ERA in the past three outings.
The right-hander was staked to a three-run lead after two
innings Saturday at Tampa Bay, but he couldn’t hold it and ended up
allowing three runs in 6 1-3 frames of a 4-3 win in 15.