The Toronto Blue Jays will seek to complete a two-game sweep of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night and extend their winning streak to eight games.
The Jays won the opener against the Cardinals 10-3 on Tuesday night as George Springer’s grand slam keyed a five-run sixth inning.
The Blue Jays’ longest winning streak this season is eight games from May 24-June 2.
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Kevin Gausman (7-7, 3.00 ERA) against Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (6-8, 3.40).
In eight career appearances (four starts) against the Cardinals, Gausman is 1-3 with a 3.14 ERA.
Wainwright is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA in two career starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman continued his good hitting with two RBI singles on Tuesday. He has four multi-hit performances in his past five games, and five in his past seven.
Since ending an 0-for-16 hitless slump on July 5, he has gone 21-for-56 (.375) in 15 games, with five homers and 14 RBIs. Chapman is batting .241 for the season.
“It isn’t easy, but I wasn’t satisfied with how I’d been doing at the plate,” Chapman said. “I feel like I can really help this team if I’m right, so I’m trying to make a change. It’s nothing too drastic; it’s just about getting that feel back in my legs and being able to drive the ball to all parts of the field. It’s nothing too crazy, but you’re always making little adjustments. I know I’m better than a .220 hitter, so I was willing to make that change because the results weren’t there.”
“I’m just seeing him be Matt Chapman,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said. “He was a little bit unlucky through the first half of the year, but the confidence is there. You’re starting to see some results, so it gets a little easier to go out there and grind. He’s a stud. He’s a great player.”
Cardinals center fielder Dylan Carlson hit his sixth home run of the season on Tuesday and added an RBI single for his 19th multi-hit game of the season.
St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols had an RBI single and added a walk in going 1-for-3. In 29 career games in Toronto, Pujols has hit .310 (36-for-116) with six doubles, six homers and 19 RBIs. The 42-year-old received a long ovation when he came to bat in the first inning.
“My legs definitely are 100 percent better than they were two or three years ago,” Pujols said. “When I don’t have anything ‘achy,’ it’s a good time to push it and don’t take anything for granted. I’m swinging well.
“You look at my numbers and I’m hitting .200 or whatever, but if you go by how many balls I’ve put in play at 100-some miles per hour off the bat, I could easily be hitting .250 or .260 and I would have a handful more homers.”
Pujols is batting .228 with six home runs and 21 RBIs this season.
The Cardinals and Blue Jays split two games in St. Louis on May 23-24.
–Field Level Media