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Jays try to keep Twins in loss column

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The Sports Network
7/6/2013 10:17:27 AM
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(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays will try to replicate a stellar performance when they meet up with the Minnesota Twins at Rogers Centre on Saturday.

A brilliant pitching performance from Mark Buehrle and another blast from Jose Bautista lifted the Blue Jays to a 4-0 win in the first game of this series Friday night.

Buehrle pitched seven scoreless innings and did not walk a batter to earn his fifth win of the season and stop a three-game losing streak for the Blue Jays.

Bautista, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run while Jose Reyes also went 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBI.

Brian Dozier and Oswaldo Arcia each went 2-for-4 for the Twins but the rest of the team was a combined 3-for-26. Kevin Correia allowed all for Blue Jays' runs on 10 hits in his six innings of work. The Twins have lost six straight games and have yet to earn a win in July.

Getting back on the mound for the first time since going on the DL in mid-June will be Mike Pelfrey when he gets the start for Minnesota on Saturday.

Pelfrey was placed on the DL on June 23, retroactive to June 19, with a back strain. The Twins are really hoping that Pelfrey can bounce back from the injury as well as his rough start to the season on Saturday.

The 29-year-old is just 3-6 with a 6.11 ERA on the campaign. Before the injury, Pelfrey had begun to at least show some signs of promise as he allowed three runs in three of his four starts. However, in his most recent start, Pelfrey gave up four runs while surrendering a season-high 10 hits in a no- decision against the White Sox.

The no-decision marked the eighth straight start in which Pelfrey either took a loss or did not factor in the outcome.

This start marks the first ever appearance for Pelfrey against Toronto.

Toronto will answer with their ace as R.A. Dickey gets the ball on Saturday.

Dickey certainly hasn't lived up to the expectations that were put on his shoulders this season after his NL Cy Young season a year ago. However, Dickey has still been the Blue Jays' best pitcher.

The knuckleballer's 8-8 record and 4.59 ERA are both the best of any starter for the Blue Jays while his 82 strikeouts are also a team-high.

The last month has been a promising time for Dickey as he has racked up four wins in his six starts since the beginning of June and has allowed two runs or fewer in four of those outings. Dickey has still shown some weakness in that stretch though, as he allowed 13 total runs in the other two starts of that stretch.

Dickey has yet to face Minnesota this season, but is 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in seven games (3 starts).

Toronto went 5-2 against Minnesota last season.

Jose Bautista (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Today's Blue Jays lineup vs. Twins

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Jose Bautista-RF
3. Edwin Encarnacion-1B
4. Adam Lind-DH
5. Colby Rasmus-CF
6. Rajai Davis-LF
7. Maicer Izturis-3B
8. Josh Thole-C
9. Munenori Kawasaki-2B
SP R.A. Dickey

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