Cellar-dwellers fill Jays sked

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:19 PM ET

With 16 of their next 23 games against teams that are playing .450 baseball or worse, the Blue Jays have a chance to put themselves in a position to match, or improve upon, last years 85-win season.

Toronto would need to win 27 of its final 48 games to achieve that level.

Over the next four weeks, the Jays play seven times against Oakland (.447), three against Seattle (.434 entering play last night), three against Kansas City (.430 entering play last night) and three against Baltimore (.396 entering play last night) before they get into the meat of their September schedule which is largely against teams from the AL East.

Night birds

The Blue Jays win in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon improved the Jays deplorable record in day games to 16-27. In night games, the Jays are 42-19, a swing of 219 percentage points.

In that game, Blue Jays manager John Farrell went to his bench to give John McDonald a start at second base, started Edwin Encarnacion at first base, Rajai Davis in left field and Adam Lind at DH but there was no indication that was the answer on a day when Ricky Romero had his very good stuff.

I wish I could sit here and say there is a specific reason for our record in day games, Farrell said. If that was the case, we would certainly address it.

Three of Torontos next six games are day games.

Rauch expected back

After three days of rest to let the inflammation in his right knee subside, its expected that closer Jon Rauch will be back and available to pitch Tuesday against Oakland, if needed.

Rauch leads the club in appearances (48) and saves (11), but he has blown five of his 16 save opportunities to lead the team in that category.

As a team, the Jays have blown 19 of 43 save opportunities.

Right back atchoo

Brian Tallet, who did damage to chest cartilage as a result of a sneeze, threw 25 pitches of live batting practice Monday in Dunedin.

Tallet, who was reacquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Colby Rasmus deal, is expected to pitch a simulated game on Thursday.


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