Toronto Blue Jays look to stay hot against Miami Marlins

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Jun 2, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada (25) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning in game two of a double header at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1:  Monday, June 8th  –  7:07 ET

Marco Estrada will start the series for Toronto on Monday, and he’s quietly becoming one of the more interesting stories on this roster.  With lefty Daniel Norris lurking in AAA Buffalo, Estrada continues to do just enough to hold him off.

In his most recent outing against the Washington Nationals, Estrada picked up the win after allowing two earned runs over six innings.  The former reliever walks a fine line with some of the hard contact that he allows and home runs are the primary threat to his job, but his results have been encouraging.  At this point, the needing state of the bullpen may be all that causes his return to long relief.

Miami will counter with 25-year old lefty Brad Hand, who has made two starts since moving to the rotation from the bullpen.  Those two outings have been encouraging, but over the course of his career as a starter, Hand owns a 5-18 record with a 4.40 ERA.

Hand has also had a more difficult time against right-handed bats, which could line up well for the Blue Jays.  He’ll offer a fastball that can touch 94 miles per hour, turning to a curveball and changeup later in counts.

Next: Game 2: Buehrle time, baby!