Padres-Blue Jays preview
TORONTO — The San Diego Padres did not win Monday night in the first game they have ever played at Rogers Centre.
They took a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays but they did hit a home run, a mammoth two-run shot by Alex Dickerson in the ninth inning that reached the 500 level.
It was the 23rd game in a row in which the Padres have hit at least one home run, the longest such streak in the majors this season and the longest in club history.
The streak is nice but the Padres would like to win as well.
“The streak is a fun thing to keep track of but realistically we'll take a win with a bunch of singles,” said Dickerson, who has four home runs in 29 games with the Padres.
It was the sixth loss in the first eight games of a 10-game road trip for the Padres. They play the final two games of the trip Tuesday and Wednesday against Blue Jays.
Outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. did not start Monday for the Padres for the second game in a row amid trade speculation involving the Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians.
“Obviously, it's been two days,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “It's somewhat unusual. He's completely healthy, he's ready to go, he's available. There's nothing done at this point in time. Just decisions being made that he has a couple days off right now.”
The Padres are scheduled to start right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-7, 4.79 ERA) on Tuesday. Cashner also is involved in trade rumors.
The way the Blue Jays are constructed, it seems logical that they need pitching. The bullpen could be improved. That would be accomplished by moving Aaron Sanchez (11-1, 2.72 ERA) there to limit his innings in his first full season as a major league starter. That would leave a huge hole in the rotation that would presumably need to be filled in a trade.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays got right fielder Jose Bautista back in the lineup Monday after he had been out since injuring his left big toe on June 16 in Philadelphia. He likes the team the Blue Jays have.
“We have a great team,” Bautista said Monday. “I don't see the necessity to do anything.”
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Marcus Stroman (8-4, 4.90 ERA) on Tuesday.
Stroman has been inconsistent this season but had a good start Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing eight hits, one walk and one run in eight innings. He struck out six in Toronto's 10-4 win. In his past nine starts, beginning June 4, he is 3-3 with a 5.50 ERA. The team is 3-6 in those starts. He has never faced the Padres.
Cashner will be making his 16th start of the season when he faces the Blue Jays for the first time in his career. He did not factor into the decision Thursday when he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out eight, in a 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He has 17 strikeouts and no walks over his past two starts.
Like the rest of the games leading to the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers, the Padres and Blue Jays will play Tuesday with the possibility of a deal or deals looming in the background. The Blue Jays used deadline deals to their advantage last year to win the American League East.
“Nobody can tell the future, but we're definitely capable of winning just as many games, if not more (than in 2015),” Bautista said “I think we're capable of being a playoff team again, and after that it's just how you play in the postseason. We have what it takes. It's just a matter of execution.”