Friday, August 15, 2014
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Preview: Blue Jays at White Sox

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[August 15, 2014]  After a pronounced stumble to begin their eight-game road trip, the Toronto Blue Jays look to regain their footing Friday when they play the first of three contests versus the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays' bid to strengthen their postseason position took a significant hit this week after being outscored 19-4 en route to a sweep at the hands of Seattle. Toronto resides 3 1/2 games behind Detroit in the race for the second wild card in the American League.

Toronto may receive a boost in the form of Edwin Encarnacion, who has been sidelined since July 5 with a strained right quadriceps muscle. The Blue Jays need all hands on deck and can ill afford a misstep against the White Sox, who took three of four versus the Canadian contingent from June 26-29. A great deal has changed since that series as Chicago has dropped eight of 11 to essentially fall out of contention.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, RSN (Toronto), CSN Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.34 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.67)


Stroman rebounded from a dismal performance with a stellar one, but settled for a no-decision despite allowing two runs on four hits in nine innings against the Tigers on Saturday. The 23-year-old rookie continues to keep the ball in the park, doing so in his last five outings while permitting just five homers in 86 1/3 innings. Stroman also received a no-decision in his lone career outing versus Chicago, yielding two runs on as many hits in 6 2/3 innings June 28.

Like Stroman, Noesi also turned in a strong performance in his last outing before settling for a no-decision. The 27-year-old Dominican allowed one unearned run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings versus his former team of Seattle on Saturday. Noesi has yet to record a decision in five relief appearances against Toronto, but has allowed the opposition to bat .289 in 11 1/3 innings.

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1. Toronto SS Jose Reyes is 11-for-28 with five runs scored during his six-game hitting streak and has eight multiple-hit performances in his last 16 contests.

2. Chicago is reportedly close to reinstating OF Avisail Garcia (torn labrum in left shoulder) from the disabled list.

3. Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista has hit safely in six straight games and 12 of his last 13.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 4, White Sox 2

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