Lovin' That Home Cookin'

The Toronto Blue Jays are enjoying their longest home winning streak of the season thanks to some strong pitching. Shaun Marcum appears ready to help continue their strong play.

The Blue Jays go for a seventh straight victory at Rogers Centre when they continue a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Toronto (54-54) is 32-20 at home this season and has outscored opponents 41-9 during its current run there while posting a stifling 1.50 ERA. Roy Halladay struck out nine in Friday's opener and Aaron Hill doubled in the go-ahead run after a Texas error to lift the Blue Jays to a 6-4 win.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Toronto -175 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Toronto -126 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Vernon Wells went 3-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice to help Toronto bounce back from a 2-4 road trip during which it scored a total of 15 runs.

"It's been a tough last week with a lack of run support for the pitchers," Hill said. "It was just good to show some energy, show some life and get things going."

Marcum (7-4, 3.67 ERA) hopes to get some of that support as he tries to win a career-high third straight start when he takes the mound for Toronto. The right-hander began the season in the bullpen, but joined the starting rotation on May 13 and has gone 6-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 15 starts.

He limited the Chicago White Sox to one run and two hits over a career-high tying eight innings in a 4-1 victory on Sunday. Marcum, who didn't issue a walk and struck out eight, has limited opponents to four or fewer hits in seven of his 15 starts.

"Does he have pretty good stuff or what?" Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "That forkball he pitches he can throw it at any time. That's a pretty good recipe. He's got a feel for what he is doing."

Marcum is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in four career games, including one start, versus the Rangers.

Texas (48-61) has lost five of its last seven games following a four-game winning streak. Ian Kinsler went 2-for-3 with three RBIs on Friday for the Rangers, who fell to 5-3 against the Blue Jays.

Mike Wood (1-1, 5.40) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma to start on two days' rest for Texas in place of Kameron Loe, who will go on the 15-day disabled list with stiffness in his lower back.

"I've battled this kind of stuff before," Loe said. "It usually clears up in two to three days. This one is going to take a little longer. Being a tall guy, I have lower-back issues every once in a while."

Wood has made five appearances, including four starts, for the Rangers this season. He scattered five hits in five innings of a 4-0 win over Oakland on May 29, which was his most recent outing.

Wood, who was 9-3 with a 3.23 ERA at Triple-A, won't likely go deep into Saturday's game after throwing 81 pitches over eight innings in a victory over Fresno on Wednesday.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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