MLB

Blue Jays hope to earn split of set with Astros

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The Sports Network
8/3/2014 10:09:47 AM
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The Toronto Blue Jays will attempt to salvage a split of a four-game series with the lowly Houston Astros on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

Toronto pulled out a 6-5 victory in Thursday's series opener, but lost the next two by scores of 3-1 and 8-2.

Brett Oberholtzer shut down the Blue Jays' offense on Saturday, tossing seven innings of two-run ball to pick up just his fourth win of the season.

"(Oberholtzer) did a tremendous job," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "You're talking about a guy who is fearless. He attacks the strike zone."

Powering the Houston offense were Chris Carter, Jason Castro and Jon Singleton, who all had three hits and a home run.

Toronto had only six hits all day in the loss, while starter R.A. Dickey was tagged for five runs on nine hits over seven innings of work.

Toronto's 23-year-old phenom Marcus Stroman will get another chance to dazzle when he starts on Sunday.

Since joining the Blue Jays' rotation at the end of May, Stroman has been nothing short of spectacular. In 11 starts he has gone 6-2 with an ERA of 2.12. It was quite the surprise, considering he had an ERA of 12.79 as a reliever after being called up to the majors on May 3.

Stroman completely baffled the Red Sox on Tuesday to pick up his seventh win of the year and third in his last three starts. He set a career high with eight strikeouts and allowed just one run over seven innings. He has lasted seven innings in four of his last five starts.

This will be Stroman's first career outing against Houston.

There are a few more miles on the odometer of Stroman's counterpart in this game, as veteran Scott Feldman toes the rubber for Houston.

Feldman has not been able to capture the magic of last season, when he finished a combined 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA for the Cubs and Orioles. This season the right-hander is just 4-8 with an ERA of 4.39 in 19 total starts.

He had been stuck in a particularly nasty rut before his this past Tuesday, when he limited Oakland to one run over seven innings. In the three starts before that Feldman allowed a combined 16 runs on 27 hits.

Pitching against Toronto isn't likely to help, at least if his past history is any indication. In 13 total appearances, seven of which were starts, Feldman is 1-4 with a 5.77 ERA against the Blue Jays.

Earlier in the season, Toronto took two of three from Houston.

Marcus Stroman (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Today's Blue Jays lineup vs. Astros

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Melky Cabrera-LF
3. Jose Bautista-DH
4. Dioner Navarro-C
5. Juan Francisco-1B
6. Colby Rasmus-CF
7. Munenori Kawasaki-3B
8. Ryan Goins-2B
9. Anthony Gose-RF
SP Marcus Stroman

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