Los Angeles Angels (52-73) at Toronto Blue Jays (71-54)
Thursday, August 25 - 7:07 PM EST
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Toronto Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ is in the midst of a career year, but the 33-year-old has endured nothing but trouble when testing his mettle against the Los Angeles Angels. Happ will vie for his majors-best 18th victory this season and first of his career versus the Angels on Thursday when the clubs battle in the rubber match of the series at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Michael Saunders and Edwin Encarnacion each had two hits for the Blue Jays in their 8-2 loss on Wednesday. Saunders, who belted a solo homer in Toronto's 7-2 series-opening victory on Tuesday, has hits in five of his last seven outings and is batting .346 in his career versus Thursday starter Jered Weaver. While Toronto has dropped three of five to fall into a first-place tie with Boston atop the American League East, Los Angeles' offensive outburst enabled it to record just its fourth win in 19 outings. Veteran Albert Pujols, who launched his 584th career homer to move past Mark McGwire for 10th all-time in baseball history to highlight a 4-for-4 performance on Wednesday, has 12 hits in his last eight games.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), Sportsnet (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Jered Weaver (8-11, 5.47 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH J.A. Happ (17-3, 3.05)
Weaver lost his third straight start and fell to 0-4 in his last six outings on Friday after allowing four homers in 4 2/3 innings in a 7-0 setback to the New York Yankees. The 33-year-old has been taken deep on seven occasions over the last three starts, and permitted 26 runs on 50 hits in his last six. For all of his troubles, Weaver has handcuffed Toronto throughout his career by winning four of five starts at the Rogers Centre and 10 of 12 decisions overall versus the Blue Jays.
Happ won his fifth consecutive start and 11th in 12 outings on Aug. 17 despite surrendering three homers and four runs total over 7 1/3 innings in a 7-4 triumph over the Yankees. That contest served as the first time in eight outings that the veteran southpaw has yielded more than three earned runs. While his season win total is five better than his previous high with Philadelphia in 2009, Happ owns a disastrous 0-4 mark with a bloated 8.00 ERA in four encounters with the Angels.
1. Toronto OF Jose Bautista (left knee sprain) is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Thursday, but is just 1-for-15 in his career versus Weaver.
2. Los Angeles C Jett Bandy had four hits on Wednesday, matching the sum total of his previous eight contests.
3. Encarnacion has recorded six multi-hit performances in his last 11 games.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 5, Angels 1