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MacArthur: Blue Jays vs. Royals series preview

Scott MacArthur, TSN.ca

4/11/2013 9:49:57 PM

Toronto Blue Jays (3-6, 5th AL East) at Kansas City Royals (6-3, 1st in AL Central)

PITCHING MATCHUPS:

Friday, 8:10pm ET: LHP J.A. Happ (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Luis Mendoza (0-0, 1.50)
Saturday, 7:10pm ET: RHP R.A. Dickey (0-2, 8.44) vs. RHP James Shields (1-1, 3.75)
Sunday, 2:10pm ET: RHP Brandon Morrow (0-1, 5.59) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (1-1, 3.21)

WHO'S HOT:

SS Jose Reyes has an eight-game hitting streak (14-31, 1HR, 1 2B.)

WHO'S NOT:

Two of the Blue Jays three starting pitchers in this series are looking for bounce-back performances.

In R.A. Dickey's last start, he allowed the Red Sox seven earned runs on 10 hits. Boston went on to win the game 13-0.

Brandon Morrow opened the just-completed series in Detroit, going 3 2/3 innings and giving up five earned runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out none.

FAVOURABLE MATCHUP:

The sample sizes are relatively small but four Blue Jays have hit .500 or better for their careers against Luis Mendoza.

They are: Edwin Encarnacion (4-5, 1 RBI;) Maicer Izturis (3-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI;) J.P. Arencibia (3-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI;) Jose Bautista (3-6, 1 HR, 2 RBI.)

NOT-SO-FAVOURABLE MATCHUP:

Saturday's Royals' starter, James Shields, has won 11 of 21 career starts (all with Tampa Bay) versus the Blue Jays (11-5, 3.24.) Shields' 11 wins against Toronto are his highest total against one team.

Shields was acquired by the Royals, from the Rays, along with RHP Wade Davis and IF Elliot Johnson on December 9, 2012. The trade sent top OF prospect Wil Myers, P prospect Jake Odorizzi and two other minor leaguers to the Rays.

2012:

The Blue Jays won six of eight games against the Royals last season, including sweeping a four-game series at Kaufmann Stadium April 20-23.