The Toronto Blue Jays, who finally have outfielder George Springer back in the lineup, will go for their fourth straight win when they visit the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
Springer went 0-for-4 on Tuesday in just his fifth game since signing with Toronto in January.
“I feel great,” said Springer, who started the season with a quadriceps injury and then got hurt again after returning in April. “I’m excited to be in this position. I feel like myself again.”
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo served a one-game suspension on Tuesday — missing his team’s 2-1 win in the series opener — after Toronto had an on-field skirmish of sorts this past Saturday against Baltimore. He praised Springer after the game.
“He’s one of the best players in baseball,” Montoyo said.
Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP for the Houston Astros, signed a six-year, $150 million contract with Toronto. But he said it was “brutal” having to miss all but five games.
Toronto’s Robbie Ray (4-3, 3.50 ERA) is slated to face Miami’s Trevor Rogers (7-3, 1.87) in a battle of left-handers.
Toronto is 6-7 this season when Ray starts. Ray, who has eight quality starts this year, is 1-2 with a 2.18 ERA in four career appearances — including three starts — in Miami.
Overall against the Marlins, Ray is 3-3 with a 2.20 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts.
Ray will hope to get support on Wednesday from Springer, who is hitting .158 this season, but also from MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who went 2-for-4 with one key RBI in Tuesday’s 2-1 Jays victory. Guerrero improved his batting average to .340.
Meanwhile, the last-place Marlins lost their second straight game on Tuesday. It is surely a frustrating time for the Marlins, who beat the Chicago Cubs 10-2 on Friday and 11-1 on Saturday before dropping the next two contests while scoring a combined total of just one run.
An example of Miami’s frustration happened in Tuesday’s ninth inning. Trailing 2-1, Miami’s Starling Marte legged out an infield hit. However, he was thrown out trying to steal second on the next pitch.
“He’s got the green light,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Marte’s decision to run. “(He was) trying to get in scoring position, and the math worked. But he just didn’t get his best jump.”
A favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year award, Rogers has won four of his past five decisions and seven of his past nine. The 23-year-old will be operating on seven days’ rest and has never faced Toronto.
Rogers, who leads all MLB rookies in wins (seven), ERA (1.87) and strikeouts (95), has yet to allow a homer to a left-handed hitter, though he’s yielded nine to right-handed batters.
–Field Level Media