Game Thread: Toronto Blue Jays (23-21) at Texas Rangers (20-23)


The Toronto Blue Jays are sitting just a half game out of first place in the American League and are two games above .500. They go for the sweep this afternoon in Arlington against a struggling Texas Rangers club that has lost four in a row.

The Blue Jays have the fourth best run differential in the AL at plus 11 and remain the only AL East team that has scored more runs than they’ve allowed. Things can change in a heartbeat but as of right now it’s not such a bad time to be a Blue Jays’ fan.

Today the bluebirds go up against Nick Martinez who is making his first start since April 22. The 23-year-old rookie has pitched well out of the bullpen but wasn’t particularly sharp in either of his to starts this season. He throws a sinking fastball in the low-90’s that is backed up with a changeup, slider and curveball. His slider looks to be his primary out pitch.

Martinez will be up against the veteran R.A. Dickey who has started to find his groove a bit more lately. Four of his past five starts have been of the quality variety and he’s racked up more than a strikeout per inning his last two. They key for Dickey will be to limit his walks, which helps minimize the damage if the knuckleball decides to flatten out at the wrong time.

Toronto Blue Jays Lineup:

Jose Reyes SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind 1B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Juan Francisco 3B
Brett Lawrie 2B
Josh Thole C
Anthony Gose CF

R.A. Dickey P

Texas Ranger Lineup:

Michael Choice LF
Elvis Andrus SS
Shin-Soo Choo DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Alex Rios RF
Mitch Moreland 1B
Robinson Chirinos C
Leonys Martin CF
Luis Sardinas 2B

Nick Martinez P

Roster Update:

RHP Neil Wagner was optioned before yesterday’s game to make room for C Dioner Navarro who was activated from the bereavement/family emergency list (h/t Barry Davis, Sportsnet).