Right-hander Carlos Villanueva makes his second start of 2012 tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Kansas City Royals in the continuation of a four-game series at Rogers Centre.
A 28-year-old Dominican, Villanueva began the season with 22 consecutive bullpen appearances and posted a 3.24 earned run average through 33 1/3 innings before making his initial start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 29.
He went five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits - walking one and striking out six - while getting a no-decision in the Blue Jays' 7-5 win.
Villanueva was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 2002 and was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in a four-player deal in March 2004.
He debuted in the majors with the Brewers in 2006 and started 27 times in 230 appearances before going to Toronto via trade in December 2010.
He went 6-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 33 games - 13 starts - with the Blue Jays last season.
Kansas City counters with Mexican-born righty Luis Mendoza, who tossed eight innings of one-run ball in a June 29 defeat of the Minnesota Twins.
In 13 previous appearances, including eight starts, he allowed 68 hits and 37 runs in 60 innings while posting a 4.95 ERA and compiling a 2-4 record.
Mendoza tossed 3 1/3 innings against Toronto on April 21 and was riddled for 10 hits and four runs while getting a no-decision in the Royals' 9-5 loss.
Villanueva pitched two innings in the same game and allowed a hit and a walk with one strikeout.
Mendoza is 1-1 in four career meetings with the Blue Jays.
On Tuesday, Adam Lind capped a six-run fourth inning with a three-run home run and the Blue Jays topped the Royals, 6-3.
Rajai Davis added a two-run single and Edwin Encarnacion knocked in a run with an infield hit for the Blue Jays, who snapped a two-game slide. Brett Lawrie added two hits and a run scored in the victory.
Brett Cecil (2-1) allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over six-plus solid innings with three strikeouts to pick up the win. Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver each worked one scoreless inning and Casey Janssen collected his 10th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Jason Bourgeois clubbed a two-run triple and Alex Gordon added an RBI on a sacrifice fly for the Royals, losers in four of their last five contests.
Vin Mazzaro (3-3) allowed six runs on 13 hits in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.
The Blue Jays dropped the season series to the Royals in 2011, four games to three. Toronto last won the season series in 2008.