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7/2 Game Thread: Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Athletics

Monday, July 2 - Oakland, California
Game time temperature: 71 F (22 C)
10:05 PM (EDT)

Toronto Blue Jays
Vernon Wells cf
Alexis Rios rf
Troy Glaus 3b
Frank Thomas dh
Aaron Hill 2b
Curtis Thigpen 1b
Adam Lind lf
Jason Phillips c
Royce Clayton ss

Pitching: Josh Towers, RHP

Oakland Athletics

Shannon Stewart lf
Mark Kotsay cf
Nick Swisher rf
Jack Cust dh
Eric Chavez 3b
Dan Johnson 1b
Mark Ellis 2b
Marco Scutaro ss
Kurt Suzuki c

Pitching: Lenny DiNardo, LHP

No sooner did the Jays finally manage to win 4 in a row than they went ahead and dropped 4 in a row. Getting swept by Seattle was just plain ugly, especially because Seattle was throwing its lesser arms. Now the Jays will send Towers, Litsch, and McGowan up against the Oakland Athletics, who are coming off a series win against the Yankees.

Sparrow takes the mound tonight and will try to build on a moderately effective start his last time out. DiNardo, an unspectacular lefty with serious control issues, is just the kind of pitcher the Jays' offense should devour. Of course, how many times have we said that this season, and how many times have they put up a 2 spot? The Jays goal now has to be getting back to .500 by the All-Star Break, although that's not going to be easy to do now.

In other news, Reed Johnson's rehab stint at Dunedin seems to be progressing well, while AJ had his fateful meeting with Dr. James Andrews today in Birmingham. I haven't heard any word yet on results of the exam, but let me know if you've heard something.

Troy Glaus returns to 3rd base tonight, while Curtis Thigpen gets the start at 1st against the lefty. Wells continues to hit in the leadoff spot, while Hill's .777 OPS can't be scaring anyone out of the 5th spot, no matter how much I like the guy. Let's go Jays!

Burnett Update: 7/3 12:14 am According to the Jays, A.J. Burnett will not need surgery and is only suffering from a mild shoulder strain. Of course, that's the same diagnosis that was made several weeks ago. Dr. Andrews detected no structural damage and was not particularly concerned.

The plan is for AJ to rest for a week and then begin a light-throwing program, eventually progressing to a rehab start or perhaps too. He is likely to miss between 3 and four weeks total. Unfortunately, as we know, shoulder strains can be recurring problems, and lead to bigger problems. The Jays need to give AJ the rest he needs and stop spreading whispers that AJ is too concerned about the pain and unwilling to pitch through it. He clearly wasn't himself in his last start, struggling to get any pitch above the low 90s.