The Toronto Blue Jays will attempt to start another winning streak on Saturday when they face the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in the third of four consecutive meetings.
Toronto had won six straight games entering Friday's battle with Houston, but a 3-1 loss put that streak to rest.
With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Gregorio Petit hit his first career home run to give the Astros a 2-1 edge. Robbie Grossman added an insurance run in the frame when his sacrifice fly brought in Jose Altuve. Chad Qualls then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 12th save and give the Astros the win, their third in the last five games.
Toronto wasted a stellar outing from J.A. Happ in the loss. The left-hander allowed just one run over seven innings, but his squad only managed six hits in support.
R.A. Dickey will take aim at his 10th win of the season on Saturday when he starts for Toronto.
Although Dickey has a Cy Young award to his credit, he has only reached double digit victories three times in his previous 11 MLB seasons, although he has done so in three of the last four seasons. He is currently 9-10 with an ERA of 3.91 in 23 starts, which is tied for the most in baseball.
Dickey's last start was a strong showing, as he allowed just a single run over seven innings while posting a season-best 10 strikeouts against Boston. The Blue Jays won that contest 14-1 and have won Dickey's last two starts.
This will be Dickey's second start of the year against Houston. In the first, which came on April 10, he lasted seven innings, but allowed five runs in a 6-4 loss. In his career he is 2-3 with a 4.29 ERA against the Astros.
Left-hander Brett Oberholtzer will toe the rubber for the Astros in Saturday's contest.
Oberholtzer is just 3-7 on the campaign, with a mediocre ERA of 4.30. He has pitched fairly well in his last three games, with an ERA of 3.15 in those starts. Both of his last two starts came against Oakland. He let up three runs in 6 2/3 innings last Monday after tying a season-high by pitching seven innings of two-run ball six days prior in Oakland.
On April 8 Oberholtzer made his first career appearance against Toronto. He allowed three runs on as many hits over 5 1/3 innings in taking his second loss of the campaign.
Earlier in the season, Toronto took two of three from Houston.