video thumbnail

TOR@BOS: Stroman fans eight over seven innings

Looking for their third straight win against the Blue Jays, the Astros will send Scott Feldman to the mound on Sunday at Minute Maid Park, hoping that the righty can build on his last start.

Feldman went seven innings against the A's on July 29, allowing only one earned run on five hits. He took a hard-luck no-decision after the bullpen allowed the winning run in the ninth, but Feldman was encouraged by his showing against the team with the best record in baseball.

"That lineup over there was giving me a tough time my whole career, pretty much," Feldman said. "Even when they weren't that good of a team. I was happy that I threw the ball better and as far as what happened at the end there, [closer Chad Qualls has] been great all year. I think that everybody has games like that."

The Astros' offense has its work cut out on Sunday against Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. The rookie has impressed in his first 11 Major League starts, going 7-2 with a 3.03 ERA. He tossed gems against Boston in both of his last starts, allowing a total of one run over 14 innings.

"He's on some kind of roll right now, but the kid is good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He believes in himself, he has all the confidence in the world, and he has the stuff for it, too.

"It's not easy, facing the same team in a week. In 14 innings, he has given up one run to them. That's hard to do. I tip my hat to the guy, he's pitched a lot better than I thought he was going to if you want to know the truth."

Toronto will be looking for a split in this series to gain some ground on American League East frontrunner Baltimore.

Blue Jays: Five-man rotation set
The Blue Jays don't have any plans to make changes to their starting rotation with an off-day on Monday.

Toronto, which hasn't enjoyed a day off since the All-Star break, will provide everyone with an extra day of rest.

There has been ongoing concern throughout the year about whether right-hander Drew Hutchison will tire down the stretch after missing last season with Tommy John surgery. That prompted a couple of questions about possibly skipping Hutchison, but Gibbons quickly shot down that notion.

"They all need a day off," Gibbons said. "Hutch has been good against Baltimore, too. Let's face it, we have our five guys, we have to roll with it and they could all use an extra day."

Astros: Gonzalez expected to return Sunday
Despite being out of the lineup for a fourth straight game with a right hamstring issue, Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez is expected to be back on Sunday against the Blue Jays.

This after Gonzalez had a plasma injection on Wednesday in an attempt to alleviate nagging pain in the hamstring, which has given the infielder fits for weeks.

"I'm feeling a little stronger, ready to go and get to play again," Gonzalez said.

Porter said he wanted to use Monday's off-day as a recovery day for the shortstop to assess his physical state following a likely Sunday return. Prior to the injury, Gonzalez had a four-game hitting streak and had raised his average by 12 points since the All-Star break.

Worth noting
• Houston's Jose Altuve has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games. He's vying to become the first player in franchise history to win a batting title. Comments