Ryan Vogelsong's spot in the San Francisco Giants' rotation could be in jeopardy. The righty goes after his first win in six starts on Wednesday when the Giants wrap up a brief two-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Vogelsong has been awful for the Giants this season, posting a 1-3 mark to go along with a 7.78 ERA. Vogelsong had another poor showing on Thursday against Atlanta, which battered him for six runs in just 4 1/3 innings.
"I'm not making pitches when I need to. That's all it comes down to," Vogelsong said. "... It just seems like lately when things start going bad, they hit the bad ones and the good ones and they find somewhere to go."
Vogelsong, who was an All-Star in 2011 and Team USA's No. 2 starter at this past year's World Baseball Classic, has allowed 13 runs in his last two starts spanning nine innings and has allowed more than three runs in six of his seven starts this season. In fact, Vogelsong has given up 34 earned runs in 39 1/3 innings this season.
"I just need to fight through it, dude. It's a tough game sometimes and it'll beat you down," Vogelsong said. "I've been here before and came out the other side and I'll come out again. ... I came through it after 13 years, I came through it after August of 2011, I came through it after August and September of 2012 and I'll come through it again this year."
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with struggling right-hander Ramon Ortiz, who will start in place of the injured Brandon Morrow. Morrow is dealing with back spasms and has been pushed back to Saturday.
Ortiz absorbed the loss in Boston on Friday, as he allowed a run and four hits in five innings. However, he walked five batters and fell to 0-1 to go along with a 3.24 ERA.
"He did a tremendous job," manager John Gibbons told the team's official website. "He did everything and more than we wanted to or expected."
Ortiz has won both of his starts against the Giants, but hasn't faced them since 2006.
Toronto scored early and often in Tuesday's opener, as it put six runs across in the first inning to back R.A. Dickey in a 10-6 rout.
Dickey (3-5) struck out a season-high 10 in six innings of six-hit, two-run ball for Toronto, which has won three in a row after dropping its previous three.
"I felt like I had a pretty good knuckleball today," said Dickey. "I was getting a lot of swings and misses."
The Jays brought 11 batters to the plate in the opening frame and put six runs across, giving Dickey an early cushion. Pablo Sandoval's throwing error allowed leadoff hitter Melky Cabrera to reach base. Jose Bautista then drew a walk and Edwin Encarnacion and Mark DeRosa followed with RBI singles.
Two batters later Colby Rasmus delivered an RBI hit to right and following a Henry Blanco strikeout, Emilio Bonifacio and Cabrera plated runs with sharp liners that fell in front of the Giants outfielders. Toronto did not have an extra base hit in the frame.
Cabrera paced the Jays' 18-hit attack with a 4-for-5 effort which included two RBI and two runs scored against his former club. Encarnacion also drove in two and scored twice, while Brett Lawrie had a season-high three hits.
"We got some big hits the other way," said Jays manager John Gibbons. "We were staying on the ball and that's what good hitters do."
Barry Zito (3-2), who had allowed more than one earned run just once all season, was tagged for eight runs -- five earned -- on a season-high 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"They hit a fair amount of my pitches tonight," admitted Zito.