Cabrera to get ring ahead of Blue Jays-Giants opener

Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera will receive his World Series ring on Tuesday when the Blue Jays kick off a brief two-game series against the San Francisco Giants at Rogers Centre.

Cabrera, of course, was in the midst of his best year as a pro and was named the MVP of last year's All Star game a season ago with the Giants, However, he was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug on Aug. 15 and was left off the team's postseason roster.

He also disqualified himself for the NL batting title. Cabrera was hitting .346 at the time of the suspension.

"I'm appreciative of him being here and playing hard every day," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "What's happened, happened. That's behind us. I do know he's a good person, he is, and he was, a good teammate. I will thank him for that."

Cabrera, who signed a 2-year $16 million deal with the Jays this offseason, is only batting .261 with 12 RBI and 13 runs scored this season.

"I'm going to play my game like I always do," said Cabrera, who's hitting .333 over his last 10 games. "I know I'm going to see a lot of my friends there, and I'm going to say 'hi' to those guys, but I've got to continue to play the game I have been doing so far."

The Cabrera storyline will overshadow a pretty solid pitching matchup between two Cy Young Award winners in R.A. Dickey and Barry Zito.

Dickey, who won the NL Cy Young Award with the New York Mets last year, has gone 0-3 with a 5.76 ERA over his last four starts and is a mere 2-5 on the year with a 5.06 ERA.

The right-handed knuckleballer did not get a decision against the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner, David Price, and the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, as he gave up three runs (2 earned) and five hits in six innings of his team's 5-4 loss.

"I'm falling into the pattern of a traditional knuckleballer where there's less than a hit per inning but you have a lot of walks and you have some strikeouts," Dickey said after that outing. "That's really not my personality with the pitch normally. I'm much more efficient usually.

"I've got to try and figure out a way to repeat my delivery in a way that will allow me to throw more strikes, because that's who I am as a knuckleballer, and I need to get back to that and stick my face in there and try to figure it out."

The Giants, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Barry Zito, who is 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA. Zito has allowed one run or less in every outing this season except one when he was roughed up for nine runs in 2 2/3 innings. He did not get a decision on Wednesday against Philadelphia, despite a solid showing that saw him surrender one run and four hits in seven innings.

Zito, an AL Cy Young Award winner back in 2002 with Oakland, is 5-3 lifetime versus the Jays with a 3.50 ERA in 11 starts.

San Francisco, which has won 10 of its last 13 games overall, is 8-4 all-time versus the Blue Jays.