TORONTO — A year ago at this time Michael Jordan Jersey , Francisco Liriano was pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays amid speculation that he would be traded.
The left-hander is again a subject of trade speculation as he returns to the Rogers Centre on Friday night as the starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, who will try to end a nine-game losing streak in the opener of a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Tigers (36-46) lost 4-2 to the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Jays (37-43) had the day off after completing a 3-4 trip with a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday on Alex Bregman’s two-run, walk-off homer.
Both teams are expected to trade some veteran players by the July 31 deadline for deals without waivers.
Liriano (3-3, 3.94 ERA) will face Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (0-5, 6.80). Both pitchers will make their second start after returning from the disabled list.
The Blue Jays did trade Liriano on July 31 to the Astros, who went on to win the World Series. In the deal, Toronto received outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, who has become a regular.
Liriano signed with the Tigers as a free agent on Feb. 23.
He will make his 12th start of the season in the series opener. Liriano went on the DL with a strained right hamstring after making his start on May 26 and did not pitch again until Saturday when he took the loss at Cleveland, allowing three runs (two earned), four hits and three walks in four innings.
All of the runs came in a 40-pitch first inning. He did not allow another hit in the next three innings.
“I was rushing things,” Liriano said. “I hadn’t pitched in a while and I was trying to do too much, trying to do more than I can do, and I ended up missing pitches. … Everything feels great. Leg feels good http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-hunter-renfrow-jersey , body feels nice.”
The 34-year-old has faced the Blue Jays seven times in his career, including five starts, going 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA. He last pitched against Toronto on Aug. 5 with Houston when he took the loss after allowing one run, one hit and one walk in two-thirds of an inning in relief.
In 18 career appearances, including 17 starts, at the Rogers Centre, Liriano is 8-4 record with a 4.03 ERA and 98 strikeouts.
Stroman also returned from the DL on Saturday when he allowed six hits and one walk while striking out five in five scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels. He did not factor in the decision of a game the Blue Jays won 4-1.
He had not pitched since May 8 because of inflammation in his right shoulder, a problem that shortened his spring training. Stroman believes that in retrospect he probably should have taken a couple of more weeks to build up the shoulder before starting to pitch in the regular season.
“When I’m going good, I feel like I’m pitching at 80, 85 percent and that’s where I’m at right now,” Stroman said. “Earlier in the season, I was max effort, I was pitching at 100 percent every pitch and now I’m back to being very free and easy. Once I’m free and easy Zach Brown Jersey , I can do whatever I want.”
Stroman said the shoulder “feels way better.”
“I’m moving way easier, I can pause, I can mess with my delivery now, I can do many things I wasn’t able to do previously in the year,” he added. “Feels great.”
In two career starts against the Tigers, he is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA.
The Tigers won two of three games against the Blue Jays at Comerica Park on June 1-3. Detroit will try to win its first season series against Toronto since 2013. The Tigers lost two of three games at the Rogers Centre last season, the fourth straight series they have dropped in Toronto.
On a steamy day that proved too daunting for Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 38-year-old Albert Pujols coolly delivered the game’s pivotal hit.
Pujols’ RBI double highlighted a five-run eighth inning, and Los Angeles beat the Orioles 6-2 Saturday to extend Baltimore’s latest losing streak to seven games.
Gametime temperature was 93, and the humidity was unforgiving. Sweating profusely, Skaggs asked out after using 79 pitches to get through five innings.
”It’s definitely one of the hottest games I’ve thrown in a long time,” Skaggs said. ”I was just tired. I told (manager Mike Scioscia) I rarely come out and say this, but I’m exhausted.”
Skaggs added: ”I probably could have gone another inning Shareef Miller Jersey , but there was no point. My team picked me up.”
Playing their 3,000th game under Scioscia, the Angels trailed 2-1 before using three hits, three walks and a hit batter to take control against the free-falling Orioles.
After Mychal Givens (0-6) issued a pair of one-out walks, Pujols tied it with his 632nd career double , a drive that handcuffed right fielder Danny Valencia. The hit tied David Ortiz for 10th place on the all-time list – and tied the game.
An intentional walk followed, and the go-ahead run scored when Chris Young hit into a force play at third base. Tanner Scott hit Martin Maldonado with a pitch to force in a run, and David Fletcher capped the uprising with a two-run single.
”It was good clutch-hitting that inning,” Scioscia said. ”I think the biggest hit there was Albert.”
The Angels lost six straight before coming to Baltimore, and now they appear to have their mojo back.
”Whenever you can grind out runs late in the game to come back and win, it’s exciting,” Fletcher said. ”It’s definitely something to give us confidence.”
Justin Anderson (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn the win.
The Orioles’ shoddy play in the eighth inning explains why Baltimore owns the worst record in the majors. Baltimore has five losing streaks of at least six games, is 0-15 against the AL West and has lost 17 of 18 at home.
Afterward Devin Bush Jersey , manager Buck Showalter was straining to find the positive aspect of another dreadful defeat.
”When you only score two runs – again – you’re going to have to pitch real well, which we really did for seven innings,” he said. ”So, I’ll take that out of it.”
Baltimore’s Andrew Cashner threw 105 pitches. He gave up one run in six innings and left with the lead, but now has gone six straight starts without a victory.
”To say I’m not frustrated, I’d be lying, but for me, wins and losses are out of my control,” the right-hander said.
Scioscia is the sixth manager in major league history to manage 3,000 games with one team.
”You don’t think about it,” Scioscia said about his longevity. ”It’s 3,000, one game at a time.”
TAKE A SEAT
Struggling Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop (.197) was given the day off http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-diontae-johnson-jersey , and will likely be rested Sunday before Monday’s off day. Showalter said he wanted the 2017 All-Star to ”reset.”
Angels: RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani, who has a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow, batted in a simulated game Saturday and did not experience any setbacks, Scioscia said. The team hopes Ohtani can avoid Tommy John surgery. . LHP John Lamb has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will undergo surgery in Los Angeles. . RHP Jake Jewell will be out at least six months after undergoing right ankle surgery Friday. . RHP Garrett Richards (hamstring) allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start Friday with High-A Inland Empire. ”He lost some of his command as the outing went on, but physically he felt great,” Scioscia said.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day opted for surgery to repair a left hamstring strain, ending his season. … RHP Chris Tillman (back) was scheduled to make his third rehab start, this time with Triple-A Norfolk, on Saturday.
Angels: RHP Deck McGuire (0-0, 6.08 ERA) makes his third major league start in the series finale Sunday.
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.20 ERA) lost his last four decisions and has not completed seven innings in any of his last eight starts.