Toronto Blue Jays (59-50) at Houston Astros (44-64), 8:10 p.m. (ET)
07/31/2014 10:25 AM
07/31/2014 4:52 PM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays eye a sixth straight win on Thursday when they open a four-game series with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Toronto won for the eighth time in nine games on Wednesday, as Dioner Navarro had three RBI singles and the Blue Jays wrapped up a three-game sweep at Fenway Park with a 6-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Juan Francisco knocked in two runs for the Blue Jays, who are just 2 1/2 games back of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
Mark Buehrle (11-7) bounced back from a bad outing against the New York Yankees in the Bronx last week to break a nine-start winless streak. Buehrle, 0-6 since a win over Kansas City on June 1, gave up just one run on six hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings.
Hoping to keep the Jays rolling on Thursday will be righty Drew Hutchison, who is 7-9 with a 4.44 ERA. Hutchison snapped a three-start losing streak on Saturday in New York, as he allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"Things that have happened previously, there's nothing you can do about them once they happen," Hutchison said. "It's a fresh game, go out there and do everything you can do to give your team a chance to win."
Houston, meanwhile, had intended to throw righty Jarred Cosart in the opener, but he was dealt to Miami earlier in the day as part of a six-player deal at the non-waiver trade deadline.
So instead it will be righty Jake Buchanan, who is 1-1 this season with a 5.56 ERA. Buchanan has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this season, but did start a game against Tampa Bay back on June 21. However, he surrendered five runs in 4 1/3 innings of that one.
Houston picked up a series win against Oakland on Wednesday, as Robbie Grossman's two-run homer capped the six-run first inning that propelled the Astros to an 8-1 win.
Houston starter Dallas Keuchel (10-7) was superb en route to his AL-leading fourth complete game of the season. The left-hander yielded just a run on four hits over nine dominant innings and earned his first career win against Oakland in five starts.
Keuchel said he was lucky to get early swings from the A's batters. He threw 111 pitches, including 70 strikes.
"I looked up and it was the eighth inning," Keuchel said.
Jon Singleton also homered for the Astros and Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the sixth.
Toronto took two of three from the Astros earlier in the year.