Veteran right-hander Jason Marquis can continue a banner 2013 resurgence on Friday night when the San Diego Padres host the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of a three-game interleague series at Petco Park.
The 34-year-old New Yorker, who debuted in the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 2000 and has been a double-digit winner six times, was just 8-11 while splitting 2012 between the Padres and Minnesota Twins.
He opened this season with losses in two of his initial three decisions, but is unbeaten since with five victories across six starts and an earned run average that's dropped from 4.63 to 3.70.
He defeated St. Louis, 4-2, for his most recent triumph on May 20 after allowing one earned run on three hits in six innings.
Marquis is 1-2 in five career meetings with the Blue Jays, but is 4-1 in six starts at home this season.
The Blue Jays counter with young righty Chad Jenkins, who was 12-years-old when Marquis hit the big leagues.
The Tennessee native and former first-round draft pick was 1-3 in 13 appearances with Toronto last season, and has made two starts this season after starting the year in the minors.
He defeated Boston, 12-4, with five innings of two-run ball at Fenway Park on May 12, then got a no-decision after allowing two runs in five innings against Baltimore in Toronto's 6-5 win on May 26.
Jenkins has never faced the Padres.
On Thursday in Atlanta, Ramiro Pena went 3-for-4 with four RBI and Mike Minor capped a brilliant May in leading the Braves over the Blue Jays, 11-3, at Turner Field.
R.A. Dickey (4-7) was knocked around for 11 hits and gave up six runs for a second straight start for the Blue Jays, who split the two-game interleague series after the clubs each took one game in Toronto earlier this week.
"I was around the strike zone all day long," an optimistic Dickey said. "I have to trust the process and try not to get discouraged."
In San Diego, Felix Hernandez tossed eight solid innings and the Seattle Mariners totaled five home runs, including the first two of Nick Franklin's career, in a 7-1 victory over the Padres.
San Diego starter Andrew Cashner (4-3) was tagged for four runs and seven hits over six frames.
Toronto has won four of six games across two interleague series with the Padres, winning two of three in California in 2004 and two of three again there in 2010.