Mired in baseball's longest postseason drought, the Toronto Blue Jays were rumored to be looking for pitching help. Instead, they added another big bat to baseball's highest-scoring offense.
Troy Tulowitzki makes his Blue Jays debut Wednesday night at Rogers Centre and looks to help prevent the major league-worst Philadelphia Phillies from matching a season high with a sixth straight win.
Toronto (50-51) hasn't been to the playoffs since beating Philadelphia to win the 1993 World Series, and its big league-leading 5.25 runs per game has it in the thick of the AL wild-card chase.
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The Blue Jays' rotation, though, is among the worst in baseball with a 4.39 ERA.
While a move to address that could come before Friday's trade deadline, they acquired Tulowitzki from Colorado on Monday for fellow shortstop Jose Reyes in a six-player deal.
"Getting better doesn't have to mean a reliever or a starter," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "When you have a chance to get the best player at a respective position and a guy that also brings some intangibles as well, it's a rare opportunity and we wanted to take advantage of it."
Tulowitzki hit .300 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs in 87 games for the Rockies, remaining healthy after injuries plagued much of his eight previous seasons. He was hitting .340 with 21 homers and 52 RBIs last year before hip surgery ended his season in July.
Toronto could have used the five-time All-Star on Tuesday when it fell 3-2 to begin this two-game set, snapping its eight-game winning streak over the Phillies (38-63).
The Jays will try to bounce back behind R.A. Dickey (4-10, 4.53 ERA), who is 2-5 in his last 10 starts despite a 3.32 ERA as he's been backed by three runs or fewer in seven of them. The right-hander got some help at Oakland on Thursday, yielding two runs in 8 1-3 innings of a 5-2 win to get his first victory in six starts.
"I like to pretend that it doesn't affect you at all, but when you look up there and see (your win-loss record), it hurts, it's hard," Dickey told MLB's official website.
Dickey is 4-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 10 career starts against Philadelphia.
The Phillies remain the only team yet to reach 40 victories despite winning nine of 10 and five straight, one shy of their season-best streak from May 13-18.
In looking toward the future, Philadelphia sent closer Jonathan Papelbon to Washington for Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta on Tuesday.
Ken Giles replaced Papelbon, earning his first save of the season Tuesday.
"I can't thank him enough for guiding me through the way of the closer," Giles said of Papelbon. "I think I'm going to be a great closer."
Jerome Williams (3-7, 6.28) gets the ball for a second time after missing over five weeks with a strained left hamstring. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 7.91 ERA in his last seven outings but provided a quality start Friday, giving up three runs and two homers in six innings of Friday's 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.
He's 0-5 with an 8.05 ERA in eight road starts, and his season ERA is the highest of any Phillie with at least eight starts.
"I'm flushing that first half down the toilet," Williams said. "It's a new half. I just want to go about my business and try to finish strong."
Williams is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.
It's unclear if the Blue Jays will have Jose Bautista (hamstring) or rookie Devon Travis (shoulder) available after both got hurt Tuesday. Travis hit a leadoff homer in the opener and is 5 for 9 in the last four games, while Bautista's 21 homers and 66 RBIs rank second on the team.