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First-place Blue Jays will face Jesse Chavez instead of Sonny Gray

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Today there's a game 'tween the Jays and the A's;
Tell your boss that it's a matinee.
So tune in to hear Buck,
'Cause the Jays had good luck:
The Oakland A's have scratched Sonny Gray.

Another former Blue Jays player will be getting to return to his old stomping grounds as the Oakland Athletics will be starting Jesse Chavez in place of Sonny Gray in this afternoon's matinee. The Blue Jays, who are going for another series sweep and their 11th straight win, catches a huge break as Gray, who made his first major league start at Rogers Centre almost exactly two years ago today, was pulled due to back spasms.

Jesse Chavez, now 31, became a starter last season for the A's and has been quite decent this year, registering a 3.73 ERA (and a similar FIP) over 20 starts despite losing about about a strikeout per nine innings but he is no Sonny Gray.

Chavez will be catching a break too. As with theatrical matinees, the Blue Jays will be running out some of their understudies for the day game after night game. Ben Revere leads off in place of Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Goins slides to shortstop, Cliff Pennington gets inserted at second base, Dioner Navarro will catch Mark Buerhle, and Edwin Encarnacion gets another day off to rest his middle finger in preparation for the all-important Yankees series this weekend. The Blue Jays are 0-1 with Tulowitzki on the bench so let's hope that trend gets bucked this afternoon.

Oh, also, the Blue Jays are in first place. Really! They are!

Standings 20150813