Toronto ace R.A. Dickey tries to bounce back from another rough showing on Thursday when the Blue Jays wrap up their four-game home-and- home series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The National League's Cy Young Award winner last season with the New York Mets, Dickey has had a rough time adjusting to life back in the AL. Dickey, though, seemed to be turning a corner with wins in two straight decisions. However, the Baltimore Orioles roughed him up on Saturday to the tune of six runs and nine hits with three walks in 6 2/3 innings, dropping the knuckleballer to 4-6 on the season to go along with a 4.85 ERA.
"The loss can be hung around my neck today, that's for sure," said Dickey, who is 4-6 on the year with a 4.85 ERA. "When you score five runs when I'm pitching, that should win the game."
Dickey's struggles could continue on Thursday, as he is just 2-5 lifetime versus the Braves with a 5.15 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). He's been even worse at Turner Field, where he pitched to an 8.80 ERA in three starts last season.
Toronto moved to the brink of a series win on Wednesday, as Melky Cabrera went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while a combination of four pitchers blanked the Braves in a 3-0 win.
Esmil Rogers made his first start since 2011 and gave the Blue Jays another option in their injury-filled rotation by throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander had made 22 appearances out of Toronto's bullpen this season and tossed 62 pitches Wednesday while allowing three hits and two walks.
"I just tried to make my pitches and give the opportunity to my teammates to win the game," Rogers said. "It feels pretty good."
Juan Perez (1-0) retired all eight batters he faced in his Blue Jays debut and recorded four of Toronto's 11 punchouts. Casey Janssen anchored the relief effort with a perfect ninth to post his 11th save of the year.
Atlanta used four relievers as a result of starter Kris Medlen exiting with a contusion to his left upper calf after being struck by a comebacker.
"I've been hit by a lot of balls in my life...(and) that's probably one of the harder ones I've felt," Medlen said of Emilio Bonifacio's line drive. "I think I knew right away, but I just wanted to at least get through the inning."
Medlen (1-6) was charged with three runs on four hits in two frames and saw his winless streak reach nine consecutive outings.
Getting the call for the Braves on Thursday will be lefty Mike Minor, who is 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA. Minor won his third consecutive decision on Saturday in New York, as he held the Mets to just three hits and struck out 10 over 7 1/3 scoreless innings.
He is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five May starts.
Minor beat the Blue Jays the only other time he faced them.
Despite Wednesday's win, the Blue Jays have lost eight of 10 in Atlanta.