Coming off one of the best starts of his young career, Marcus Stroman will try to pitch the Toronto Blue Jays to a series victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Wednesday's finale of a three-game set.
A 23-year-old rookie, Stroman is 4-2 with a 3.44 earned run average in 12 games this season, the past seven of those being starts. He logged the first scoreless outing of his career on Friday versus Oakland in a no-decision.
Stroman scattered three hits and three walks over seven frames, logging a career-high 115 pitches while matching a personal best with seven strikeouts for the third time on the season. However, Toronto went on to lose 1-0 in 12 innings.
"I feel comfortable, I feel like I've gotten into a pretty good groove," Stroman said on Toronto's website. "Just trying to help the team win each and every start up here."
The lack of run support wasn't anything new for the righty, who has seen the Blue Jays plate more than three runs in just one of his last six outings since he won his first career start 12-2 on May 31.
Stroman faced the Angels in relief on May 11 and was tagged for four runs over 1 2/3 innings.
The struggling C.J. Wilson counters for Los Angeles and though he has not lost in his past three appearances, he has posted an 11.08 ERA over that time.
Wilson even managed to record a victory over Minnesota on June 24 despite allowing six runs over five innings and has recorded back-to-back no-decisions since. That includes Friday versus Houston as he allowed six runs on seven hits -- including three homers -- over 4 1/3 frames.
"He's trying to make adjustments, there's no doubt about that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on his team's website. "C.J.'s on a tough run right now."
The 33-year-old southpaw is 8-6 on the year and his ERA has risen to 4.23.
Wilson had a chance to pitch the Angels to a four-game road sweep of the Blue Jays back on May 12, but took the loss in that series finale after allowing five runs over six innings. He yielded a three-run homer to Jose Bautista and a two-run shot off the bat of Brett Lawrie in defeat.
Los Angeles has won 11 of its last 14 versus Toronto, but the Blue Jays drew even in this set with last night's 4-0 victory. Jose Reyes sparked a struggling offense with four hits, one a two-run homer, and three RBI, while R.A. Dickey logged seven scoreless innings.
Dioner Navarro knocked in the other run for the Blue Jays, who pounded out 14 hits en route to snapping a five-game slide in which they had scored only six runs.
Dickey, meanwhile, allowed four hits and a walk while fanning five before Dustin McGowan and Aaron Loup followed with scoreless innings of relief to cap the five-hitter.
"Changing speeds with the knuckler kept them guessing all night. I tried to throw first-pitch strikes as much as I could," said Dickey after helping Toronto end the Angels' 11-game home win streak that was one shy of the club record.
Tyler Skaggs gave up three runs on 11 hits across 6 2/3 frames for the Halos, whose five-game win streak came to an end.
"Tyler pitched a good ballgame, except for the changeup to Reyes that ended up in the bullpen," said Scioscia, referring to Reyes' seventh-inning homer.
The Angels lost for just the fourth time in their last 18 games, but still trail the Oakland Athletics by 4 1/2 games for first place in the AL West.
Toronto moved to within 2 1/2 games of first-place Baltimore in the AL East.