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Jays look to avoid sweep at hands of debuting Samardzija, A's

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The Sports Network
7/6/2014 10:05:02 AM
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(SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Samardzija makes his Oakland debut on Sunday, as the Athletics try to complete a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at O.co Coliseum.

Samardzija, of course, was acquired along with fellow right-hander Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs on Saturday for Oakland's top two prospects, as well as hard-throwing right-hander Dan Straily.

"I'm right where I need to be, man," Samardzija said Saturday, when he joined the team in Oakland. "I've been begging for this for a while, situation-wise, of coming in every day to win games."

Samardzija has pitched well for the Cubs this season despite his 2-7 record, as Chicago has been shut out five times over his 17 starts and scored two or less runs in 11 of those outings.

He's also struck out 103 batters in 108 innings pitched this year.

"I'm coming to a team that has done fine without me and I'm just looking to do my part," said Samardzija. "Hopefully, I add to the depth of the pitching staff."

Oakland took the first three games of this weekend's series, including a 5-1 triumph on Saturday.

Josh Donaldson homered and Nate Freiman, Jed Lowrie, Alberto Callaspo and Stephen Vogt each drove in a run as well for Oakland in Saturday's win. That was plenty of offense for starter Scott Kazmir, who let up just one run on three hits over seven innings, while striking out eight batters.

Oakland's current three-game winning streak comes on the heels of three-game sweep it suffered against Detroit this past week.

Mark Buehrle allowed three runs on 10 hits over six innings to take the loss. He is now 10-6 and has lost his last four decisions.

The Blue Jays have lost six of their last eight contests.

Drew Hutchison will make the start for Toronto in Sunday's finale.

The 23-year-old has been solid in the rotation for the Blue Jays this season, posting a record of 6-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 17 starts just a year after he did not make a single appearance at the Major League level due to injury. He had started in 11 games during the 2012 season.

Hutchison pitched one of the best games of his career his last time out, twirling seven innings of one-run ball, while striking out a career-high 10 batters to help Toronto to a 4-1 win. The right-hander had lost three of his previous four decisions.

Sunday's start will be the first Hutchison has ever made against Oakland.

Although Oakland has had the upper hand this weekend, Toronto has been the more dominant between these teams recently. The Blue Jays swept a three-game series at home from May 23-25 and won two of three in Oakland a season ago.

Jeff Samardzija (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)

Today's Blue Jays lineup vs. Athletics

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Munenori Kawasaki-2B
3. Melky Cabrera-LF
4. Jose Bautista-1B
5. Adam Lind-DH
6. Colby Rasmus-CF
7. Juan Francisco-3B
8. Cole Gillespie-RF
9. Jose Thole-C
SP Drew Hutchison

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