Jays enter final series of the season in Chicago
By Sports Network
|Jose Bautista tosses his helmet in St. Petersburg, Florida, September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Nesius, file
The Toronto Blue Jays will likely be without slugger Jose Bautista this evening when they open their final series of the season against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Bautista, the major league home run leader with 43, was injured in Sunday's 5-2 loss to Tampa when his knee made contact with a corner of the padded doorway while chasing a fly ball in the first inning. He fell to the ground and was down for several minutes, but stayed in before leaving in the sixth.
"We feel like we dodged a bullet," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "It could have been something much more severe."
The Jays will also be without the services of Farrell, who will miss the game because of personal issues.
Toronto, which has dropped four of six, needs two wins to finish with a winning record. The Jays will rely on righty Dustin McGowan tonight, as he makes his fourth start of the year.
McGowan lost on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings. He is 0-1 on the year with a 6.35 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will rely on youngster Dylan Axelrod, who has pitched to a 4.26 ERA without recording a decision in four appearances (3 starts). Axelrod was roughed up a bit by the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, surrendering four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. His offense bailed him out, though, in a 5-4 win.
The White Sox enter this final set of the season following a series loss to the Kansas City Royals that culminated with a 2-1 loss on Sunday.
Gavin Floyd (12-13) allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while tying a season-high with 10 strikeouts.
Paul Konerko drove in the lone run for Chicago, losers in three of its last four games.
"It seems like we couldn't get anything done all day," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Once again, we couldn't come through with the two-out RBI."
Toronto took three of four meetings from Chicago back in May.