Current Conditions - Toronto
Clouds and sun 78 °F
Wind: S 12.3
Los Angeles Angels (52-72) at Toronto Blue Jays (70-54)
Tuesday, August 23 - 7:07 PM EST
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto Blue Jays have a decided edge in pitching over their closest American League East competitors, but need to start winning the close ones as they kick off a six-game homestand against AL also-rans beginning with three versus the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. Toronto, which boasts an AL-best 3.72 ERA, is tied for first place with Boston and two games clear of Baltimore but must improve on its 14-22 record in one-run games.
The Blue Jays dropped a pair of such contests to AL Central leader Cleveland over the weekend, prompting manager John Gibbons to tell reporters: "It just magnifies that we need to score to win. We have a tough time in those low-scoring games." Toronto (70-54), which has played 62 contests at home and 62 on the road, went 1-3 in one-run games during a 3-3 road trip. Los Angeles (52-72) is 3-3 in its last six contests after salvaging the finale of a three-game series with a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday but lost its last 10 road contests, allowing an average of 6.9 runs during the slide. The Blue Jays' R.A. Dickey has won once in his last six turns and opposes Tyler Skaggs, who makes his sixth start since returning from Tommy John surgery.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), SportsNet, TVA Sports (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels LH Tyler Skaggs (1-2, 5.19 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH R.A. Dickey (8-13, 4.51)
Skaggs allowed four runs and six hits while striking out five in 3 1/3 innings of a 4-3 loss to Seattle on Wednesday for his second consecutive setback. The 25-year-old Californian, who began his comeback with seven strong innings in a 13-0 victory at Kansas City on July 26, permitted 15 runs and 25 hits in 13 2/3 innings over his last three turns. Skaggs is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA versus Toronto in two starts - both in 2014 - covering 14 2/3 innings.
Dickey yielded one run, four hits and four walks while striking out six in five innings of a 1-0 loss at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15 and is 1-4 with a 6.68 ERA in his last six turns. The 41-year-old Tennessee native and 2012 National League Cy Young winner is headed for his first losing season since 2011 and his 1.35 WHIP would be his highest since becoming a full-time starter in 2010. Mike Trout is 6-for-11 with two doubles and a triple, and Albert Pujols is 0-for-10 versus Dickey, who is 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 26 games (10 starts) against Los Angeles after an 12-5 victory last season in which he allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings.
1. Blue Jays CF Kevin Pillar (thumb) returns from the disabled list Tuesday after going 6-for-7 with two RBIs and three runs in two rehab games with Class-A Dunedin.
2. Toronto LF Melvin Upton Jr. has homered in three of his last four games and is 6-for-18 in his last five contests, raising his average to .208 in 23 games with the Blue Jays.
3. Los Angeles and Toronto are the only AL teams who have not met this season and play a four-game set at Angel Stadium from Sept. 15-18. The teams split their last 14 meetings since Los Angeles won six of seven in 2013.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 3, Angels 2