Toronto Blue Jays series preview: On the road to Houston

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May 12, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) celebrates with designated hitter Jose Bautista (19) after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles after at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays  continue their road trip on Thursday with a trip to Houston where the upstart Astros await.  After dropping their recent series to the Orioles in Baltimore, the Toronto Blue Jays sit at 5-5 over their last 10 games and 17-18 on the young season.

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If Toronto hopes to buck their trend of hovering around .500, they will need to do so against the 21-13 Houston Astros who sit atop the AL West.  While the Astros rotation led by Dallas Keuchel has been impressive, it is the power bats that have pushed Houston out of the basement and into the spotlight.

The Blue Jays’ spotty rotation will go under the microscope again with Drew Hutchison, R.A. Dickey, Marco Estrada and Mark Buehrle taking the hill in the four game set.  Each starter has taken their lumps early and is approaching the point where they need to quiet the doubters quickly, making the Houston lineup a daunting task.  If Toronto is able to steal three games from this set, they’ll return home above .500 for a 10-game home stand.

Next: Houston Astros: A boom-or-bust offense