The Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays will square off for the second time in a week, this time at Rogers Center as they open a four- game set on Friday.
The Blue Jays won two out of three when the teams met up in Oakland from July 29-31.
In that span, the A's have lost six of their last seven games overall to fall into a tie with the fast-charging Texas Rangers atop the American League West standings. The A's had a six-game cushion in the division after a 9-4 win over Toronto on July 29.
The A's suffered their third straight loss with Wednesday's 6-5 outcome at Cincinnati. Bartolo Colon lasted only 2 2/3 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits, marking the first time in 16 starts he did not deliver a quality outing. Oakland's offense, after struggling mightily over its previous six-game stretch, did rack up 11 hits and managed to go 4-of-9 with runners in scoring position.
"We had some of our best at-bats we've had in a while," manager Bob Melvin said. "So you try to take something positive from that."
Oakland's Eric Sogard is in the midst of a major league-best 13-game hitting streak
Toronto had a three-game winning streak snapped in Wednesday's 9-7 setback at Seattle. The Jays coughed up a five-run lead, as they were shutout for seven innings by the Seattle bullpen after chasing starter Aaron Harang early.
Esmil Rogers gets the start for Toronto in Friday's series opener. The right- hander faced Oakland in last week's series and gave up eight runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. Rogers followed that up with another rough outing in Anaheim on Saturday, as he was tagged for five earned runs on 10 hits. He has not won since June 18, a span of nine starts.
A's starter Jarrod Parker is coming off a solid showing against Texas his last time out, as he allowed two runs over six innings and struck out six. He walked only two batters after issuing a career-high seven free passes in his previous outing.
"I felt like it was very important that he got us through the sixth and he battled through ... without his best stuff, and he kept his composure and made big pitches when he had to," Melvin said.
Overall, the right-hander has gone 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his last 15 starts.