After losing three series in a row, the Blue Jays defeated the Miami Marlins 6-3 on Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game set
Oakland, meanwhile, has dropped eight straight games after falling 6-1 to the host Cleveland Guardians on Thursday afternoon.
The Blue Jays' lineup was bolstered on Wednesday by the return of designated hitter/first baseman Brandon Belt after a minimum stay on the 10-day injured list. He had been sidelined due to left hamstring inflammation
Spencer Horwitz was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Belt, who went 1-for-4 on Wednesday.
The Blue Jays, however, were without Bo Bichette, who had a sore left thumb. The shortstop was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game
The discomfort started during Bichette's first at-bat in Toronto's 2-0 victory on Tuesday. X-rays were not taken, and the Blue Jays hope that the off day on Thursday was enough to deal with the issue
"You don't want to push anything," Toronto manager John Schneider said. "We'll see how he is after the off day when we get back home."
Bichette ranks second in the majors in hits (101) and fourth in total bases (161).
Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman, who slumped after a torrid start to the season, has shown signs of revival. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk on Tuesday and 2-for-3 with a homer, a double and a walk on Wednesday
"We're not going to be able to go out there and just outslug teams," Chapman said. "It's hard when you have a lot of guys that maybe aren't swinging the bat the way they want to, you know? Your initial reaction is like, you want to swing your way out of it or whatever it is.
"But really for us, I think we have to kind of like, take a step back, really lock in on approach and take team at-bats and be able to string together good at-bats."
Right-hander Chris Bassitt (7-5, 4.16 ERA), who spent six seasons with the A's, is the probable starter for Toronto. In two career starts against Oakland, he is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA.
Right-hander James Kaprielian (2-6, 6.38 ERA) is scheduled to start for Oakland. In his only career start against Toronto, he pitched six innings of one-run ball in a no-decision on July 6, 2022, in Oakland.
At Cleveland, the Athletics were swept for the 11th time this season. Oakland's skid started right after a seven-game winning streak
"We're going to continue to work," Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. "We're going to continue to grind. We've seen some of the benefits with the winning streak we went through. We know we can compete and we know we can win.
Oakland trailed 2-1 entering the eighth inning Thursday. Reliever Yacksel Rios then issued three bases-loaded walks and allowed another run to score on a wild pitch.
The A's have lost five games by one run during the skid and has been prone to costly mistakes.
"Guys are trying really hard to make something happen," Kotsay said. "We've just got to let the game come to us. Some of those mistakes, for our club, we have to get every out and not give away outs to compete against these teams."
--Field Level Media