Surging Blue Jays welcome struggling road team in Padres

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The soaring Toronto Blue Jays just swept one National League West team and now aim to take care of business against another when they host the San Diego Padres on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series

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The Padres have lost 12 of their past 15 road games as they make their first visit to Toronto since winning two of three games in May 2019

The Blue Jays enter this series with four straight victories and eight in nine games after outscoring the Arizona Diamondbacks 19-9 during their three-game sweep. Danny Jansen delivered a big three-run double during Sunday’s 7-5 victory

“It’s definitely satisfying to keep going with the momentum and not seem to lose that over the (All-Star) break,” Jansen said after Sunday’s win.

Whit Merrifield is batting .333 (13-for-39) with four homers and 12 RBIs in July while notching six two-hits games. Fellow All-Star Bo Bichette is hitting .320 (16-for-50) with two homers this month.

Toronto’s recent success has allowed it to move into second place in the American League wild-card chase.

San Diego, on the other hand, is eight games behind the third and final NL wild-card spot after losing three of four to the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend.

The Padres expect to have right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (right ankle) in the starting lineup on Tuesday. Tatis injured the ankle in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Phillies

Tatis entered Sunday’s game in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter and delivered a tying two-run ground single. The Padres eventually lost 7-6 in 12 innings to fall to 5-16 in one-run games and 0-9 in extra innings

San Diego has the worst record in one-run games and is the lone team in the majors without an extra-inning victory.

“We haven’t executed as a team,” Tatis said after Sunday’s setback. “It’s a huge moment, and somebody (has to get a hit) in the clutch.”

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts homered Sunday, giving him three for the month after hitting just two total across May and June.

Bogaerts, who hit six of his 11 homers in April, has been bothered by a left wrist injury.

“I’m swinging it better,” Bogaerts told reporters after going 6-for-17 against the Phillies. “I haven’t been feeling (pain) at all.”

The Padres will send right-hander Joe Musgrove (8-2, 3.29 ERA) to the mound Tuesday

Musgrove is 7-0 with a 1.79 ERA in his last nine starts, allowing one run or fewer six times during the stretch.

Musgrove defeated the New York Mets in his final start before the All-Star break. He gave up three hits over six scoreless innings.

Musgrove, 30, is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in three career appearances (one start) against Toronto, the organization that drafted him in the first round in 2011 before trading him to the Houston Astros one year later.

Daulton Varsho (4-for-11) and Brandon Belt (4-for-16) each homered off Musgrove.

Right-hander Alek Manoah (2-7, 5.91) will start for Toronto and aims to follow up on an encouraging start against the Detroit Tigers on July 7. He gave up one run, five hits and no walks and struck out eight for his first victory since April 5.

It was Manoah’s first major league outing since June 5, when he gave up six runs and recorded just one out against the Astros. Manoah, a 2022 All-Star, even was torched for 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings in a rookie-level game on June 27 after being demoted.

“We’ve been talking about the pace of his delivery, and it’s exactly where it should be right now,” Toronto manager John Schneider told reporters Sunday. “We’re just making sure that it’s staying right there. It’s amazing what a little time away can do for you.”

Manoah, 25, has never faced the Padres. Bogaerts is 2-for-12 against Manoah and Rougned Odor is 2-for-13

–Field Level Media

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