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Colorado at Toronto

Venue: Rogers Centre
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Mark Buehrle's first season with the Toronto Blue Jays has mirrored that of his team. It was mostly very disappointing until recently.

The 14-year veteran could improve to .500 and help the Blue Jays get within a game of that mark if their longest winning streak in nearly five years continues Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies.

Buehrle (3-4, 4.66 ERA), who hasn't finished under .500 since 2006, has reached at least 13 wins in five straight seasons but is on pace to fall short of double digits. That's due greatly to a 1-3 record and 6.33 ERA through his first nine starts.

The left-hander served up 11 homers in that span but has since allowed one in 33 innings, going 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five starts - four Toronto victories.

"It's not like he's come out of nowhere," manager John Gibbons said. "But he's got to be on as good a roll as anybody in baseball."

So are the Blue Jays (34-36), whose seven-game winning streak is their best since posting 10 consecutive victories Aug. 30-Sept. 9, 2008. This run has pushed Toronto within one win of .500 for the first time since mid-April, and the team has been below the break-even mark since July despite many big-name acquisitions - including Buehrle.

His best performance in a Blue Jays uniform came Friday, giving up four hits and striking out seven in seven innings of an 8-0 win at Texas.

That's part of an outstanding run by the Toronto staff, posting a 0.67 ERA in the last six games and holding opponents to a .192 average.

"If we could do that all year, we wouldn't lose a game, I bet," Buehrle told the team's official website. "... I wouldn't expect to keep this rate up for too much."

While Blue Jays pitchers haven't allowed a home run in 52 consecutive innings, their lineup has hit 15 in the past eight games after a three-homer effort Tuesday in an 8-3 victory over the Rockies. J.P. Arencibia homered for the third time in four games, Edwin Encarnacion hit his team-leading 19th and Maicer Izturis went deep to give him a .333 average in the last eight games.

Colorado (37-35), on the other hand, has yet to homer in this series and now looks to avoid another three-game sweep in Toronto. The Rockies have hit .176 in losing all eight games they've played there.

Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.86) will face the Blue Jays for the first time, possibly pitching to save his spot in the rotation with newcomer Roy Oswalt to debut Thursday.

Nicasio is winless in his past five starts due largely to struggles as the game goes deeper. He's given up a combined six runs through the first five innings but has allowed 11 after that - and he's yet to pitch past the sixth this season.

"He's had some struggles after the fifth," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's been dominant at times early then run into some trouble in the sixth inning."

Buehrle has had no such trouble lately, and he's 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in two starts versus the Rockies.

No one has faced him more than Michael Cuddyer, who has gone 34 for 107 (.318) against Buehrle and enters this matchup riding a career-high, 16-game hitting streak.

Fellow Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler (finger) did not start for the third time in five games Tuesday and his status for this game is uncertain.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Juan Nicasio, RHP
2013 stats
74.0 Innings Pitched 87.0
4-2 Wins-Losses 3-4
4.86 Earned Run Average 4.66
27 Walks 24
51 Strikeouts 58
92 Pitches Per Start 102
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 14.2
--- Wins-Losses 1-0
- Earned Run Average 3.68

Mark Buehrle, LHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Colorado4th NL West02.00020-2 L 2
Toronto3rd AL East12.333 ½ 1-2 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Mark Buehrle
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Gonzalez85011.625
Colvin21000.500
Pacheco42000.500
Torrealba31000.333
Cuddyer107343418.318
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Juan Nicasio
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Arencibia000000
Bautista000000
Bonifacio000000
Buehrle000000
Cabrera300000
 

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Injuries
Colorado
PlayerInjury
C. BlackmonAbdominal
T. ChatwoodElbow
C. GonzalezKnee
Toronto
PlayerInjury
A. DirksBack
M. SaundersKnee
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6NYY 1:05 PM EDT  
Apr 8NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Apr 9NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
May 4TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
May 5TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
May 6TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
Aug 7NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 8NYY   
Aug 9NYY   
Aug 14TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
Aug 15TOR 1:07 PM EDT  
Aug 16TOR 1:07 PM EDT  
Sep 10NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 11NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 12NYY   
Sep 13NYY   
Sep 21TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
Sep 22TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
Sep 23TOR 7:07 PM EDT