The Blue Jays will look to slow down the streaking Indians when Cleveland comes to town for the start of a four-game series on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.
Cleveland arrives for the start of this series as the hottest team in baseball. The Indians are riding a 12-game winning streak, which is the club's longest in a single season since 1982. A 13th win would tie the club mark reached twice previously, in 1942 and '51.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco will get the start in the series opener, coming off his best outing of the season with a four-hit shutout over the Tigers. Toronto will counter with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who didn't come close to that type of success in his last outing. Dickey surrendered a season-high four home runs to the White Sox, but he still picked up the win thanks to 10 runs from his offense.
"My ball was moving all over the place, there was a lot of velocity to it ... it just felt like I was pitching in a bizarro world there for a minute," Dickey said in reference to that start. "An outing where you strike out the side and give up three home runs? I don't know if that's ever been done. It's a war of attrition, and thankfully we won it."
This series will be a reunion of sorts for Toronto's new front office. Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, general manager Ross Atkins and executive vice president of business operations Andrew Miller all left the Indians' organization to move north of the border over the last nine months.
Three things to know about this game
• Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil will likely be activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. Cecil has been out since May 14 with a torn lat, but he made his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday night and is expected to be back at some point during the series.
• Carrasco has faced the Blue Jays four times before in his career and three of those were starts. He hasn't fared particularly well with 15 earned runs on 22 hits and eight walks over a small sample size of 15 2/3 innings.
• Toronto's Russell Martin will get rare back-to-back days off this week. He was held out of the lineup on Wednesday after Toronto's game against Colorado the night before didn't end until 3:12 a.m. ET because of a lengthy rain/hail delay. Martin, as usual, will get the day off with Dickey on the mound. Josh Thole will get the start.