Jays' Alvarez impresses

Henderson Alvarez could be a candidate for next year’s Blue Jays’ starting rotation. (Dave...

Henderson Alvarez could be a candidate for next year’s Blue Jays’ starting rotation. (Dave Thomas/QMI Agency Files)

Ken Fidlin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 PM ET

TORONTO - You can put a few more important tick marks beside Henderson Alvarez’s name as a candidate for next year’s Blue Jays’ starting rotation.

Saturday’s 93-pitch, seven-inning outing — three runs, on nine hits and a walk — may not have been his best to date, but he displayed an ability to understand some flaws in his approach and make adjustments.

“I noticed my ball was up a little in the first few innings and I had to find a way to keep it down to be successful,” said Alvarez, through coach/translator Luis Rivera. “I made a little adjustment and started hitting my locations.”

From the start of the fourth through the seventh, Alvarez faced the minimum 12 batters.

“It shows his athleticism and his aptitude,” said manager John Farrell. “He got a little bit quick, a little bit side-to-side with his delivery that caused his arm slot to drop, making the sinker a little flat.”

Feeling The Strain

Edwin Encarnacion sat out Saturday’s game after straining his left shoulder making a swing during Friday’s game. He might be able to play Sunday but the likelihood is that he will sit Sunday and take advantage of the off-day Monday to get three consecutive days of recuperation.

Mark Teahen got a start Saturday as the DH and David Cooper is expected to get a start on Sunday, either as the DH or at first base. Adam Loewen is also expected to get his second start, this time in left field, since being called up earlier this week.

Stuck In Neutral

With their victory, the Blue Jays moved back to .500 at 73-73. It is the 31st time this year the Jays have been at .500. After 83 of their 145 contests, they have been either one game below, one game above, or dead on .500.

During this entire season, Toronto has never been more than four games over .500 and never more than five games under .500. The Jays’ longest win streak is six games. Their longest losing streak is four games, which has happened three times. They are 37-36 at home and 36-37 on the road.


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