Blue Jays look to avoid sweep versus Angels (Jul 30, 2017)

BY AP • July 29, 2017

TORONTO -- Cesar Valdez has not had many chances in the major leagues.

If he can grab the chance he is being given Sunday and run with it, the Toronto Blue Jays would be most grateful.

The Blue Jays need the 32-year-old to give them a chance to salvage a win from the three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels when he starts the series finale Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

The Angels will counter with Jesse Chavez (5-10, 5.35 ERA), who has had two separate stints with the Blue Jays as they try for a three-game sweep.

The Angels won their second game in a row Saturday, 6-5 on the strength of a three-run ninth inning.

"It's a huge lift," said Bud Norris, who picked up his 16th save despite allowing two walks. "We're trying to build some momentum. That's what it's all about, trying to get these win streaks to keep it going. ... I think we're building some steam and that's going to be important for us."

Valdez (1-0, 4.97 ERA) was superb Tuesday in winning for the first time since May 3, 2010, when he made his major league debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The right-hander allowed one run and five hits while striking out four in picking up the victory Tuesday over the Oakland Athletics, his team when he opened the season.

"I believe in what I do out there and if they give me the opportunity to start again I hope to do even better," Valdez said after the start.

The Blue Jays claimed him off waivers from the Athletics on May 5 after four outings that included one start, a no-decision on April 20. He has a 2.25 ERA with Toronto in five games (one start).

"I tell you what, he's got something," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He can throw anything at any time, he changes arm angles. He's very confident too. I like what I've seen."

Valdez has spent most of his career in the minors, posting an 82-62 record with a 3.86 ERA in 252 games (193 starts). He has a 2-2 record with a 6.15 ERA in 18 major league games (four starts).

Chavez allowed a season-high seven runs, five hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians but did not factor in the decision

It was his shortest start since Sept. 5, 2015, when he went two innings when he was with the Athletics.

The seven runs allowed matched his career high. He gave up seven runs in one inning Aug. 23 when he was with the Kansas City Royals

He has had two separate stints with the Blue Jays, nine games (two starts) in 2012 and 39 games in relief in 2016.

In five career games (three starts) against Toronto, he is 1-4 with a 6.27 ERA. He pitched twice against the Blue Jays this season, including one start, and is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA.

In 26 career games (two starts) at the Rogers Centre, he is 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA.

The non-waiver trade deadline is Monday, and Chavez was traded by the Blue Jays to the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. It was the third time in his career that he had been involved in a deadline deal.

"It's a Catch 22," Chavez said. "You are wanted, by the team that trades for you. And you look back at the organization you're leaving and you feel incomplete. ... You are wanted and not wanted."

The victory Saturday gave the Angels a 13-4 record in their past 17 games at the Rogers Centre.

They are 2-3 on their road trip, 4-8 in their past 12 road games and 24-31 overall on the road.

The Blue Jays are 26-26 at home.