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Saturday, 23 June 2007 20:40
MLB Headline News

Toronto Closing in on .500

A recent offensive surge has the Toronto Blue Jays on the verge of reaching the .500 mark for the first time in almost two months.

The Blue Jays look to continue their success at the plate Sunday when they try to sweep a home series from the Colorado Rockies to close out an already successful homestand.

Toronto (36-37) beat Colorado 11-6 on Saturday and is in position for its first sweep taking three games from Baltimore from May 14-16.

Oddsmakers have made Toronto -120 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 10.5 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 70% of bets for this game have been placed on Colorado +110 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

The Blue Jays, who are 23-16 since starting 13-21, can reach the .500 for the first time since May 1, when they were 13-13.

Frank Thomas went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and hit his 498th homer, while Matt Stairs matched a career high with four hits, including a homer, and two RBIs for the Blue Jays, who have outscored the Rockies (38-36) 20-14 in a wild series. Toronto rallied for three runs in the 10th to win 9-8 on Friday and is 5-3 on the homestand.

The Blue Jays, who are in the top half of the majors with 349 runs, have won six of nine and scored seven or more runs in each of those wins.

"Our offense has struggled most of the year, but I think guys are going up there starting to get hot, swinging the bats well, not trying to do too much,'' Stairs said.

Thomas, who is hitting just .242, is 5-for-9 in the series, while Stairs is batting .556 (10-for-18) with two homers in his last five games. Stairs is hitting .400 (34-for-85) with nine homers lifetime against the Rockies.

Toronto, which is 9-8 in interleague play, is 5-0 against Colorado at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays, though, could be in for a challenge Sunday against Rockies right-hander Josh Fogg.

Fogg (3-5, 4.58 ERA) has won two in a row and looks to build off his best outing of 2007 after he limited the New York Yankees to one run and four hits in seven innings on Tuesday.

"If I could do anything special, I'd be doing it all year long,'' said Fogg, who allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings for a 5-3 victory on May 21, 2006, in his only appearance against the Blue Jays. "I throw the same stuff out there every time out and if I happen to make some quality pitches when I really need to, the results are usually good."

The Rockies have lost two straight since sweeping the New York Yankees and their pitchers have allowed 17 earned runs after yielding just five against New York.

Troy Tulowitzki homered for in his third straight game Saturday for Colorado. The second-year shortstop is batting .467 (7-for-15) with three of his six homers and four RBIs in his last four contests.

"I'm feeling good at the plate, recognizing pitches early,'' Tulowitzki said.

The Rockies are 10-7 in interleague play and have not lost three straight since May 30-June 1. Colorado is 13-6 since that skid and will try to snap its skid against Dustin McGowan, who takes the mound for Toronto on Sunday.

McGowan (3-3, 5.68) looks to bounce back from his worst outing of the season where he allowed six runs and eight hits in 1 2-3 innings of Toronto's 10-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

The right-hander has never faced the Rockies.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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