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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 1st (All times Eastern)

Toronto Blue Jays (50-57) at LA Angels of Anaheim (48-58), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Josh Johnson (1-7, 6.08) LA Angels - Garrett Richards (2-4, 4.33)

(Sports Network) - Nobody was happier to see the calendar turn to August more than Toronto right-hander Josh Johnson. On Thursday, Johnson tries to put a miserable month of July behind him when the Blue Jays begin a four-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

Johnson hasn't been particularly effective in any month this season, but July was especially brutal for the one-time Cy Young Award candidate. He lost all five starts in July and pitched to a 7.71 ERA in doing so.

"He's scuffling. That's an understatement," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "He's feeling it. He's human. You feel for the guy. He hasn't struggled a whole lot in his career. He's trying to settle in, he's trying to contribute, (but) it hasn't gone well for him."

Johnson's most recent loss came to hapless Houston on Saturday, as he was ripped for seven runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, dropping him to 1-7 on the year to go along with a 6.08 ERA.

"This game will definitely test you," Johnson said. "(My confidence is) not real high, but you have to stay positive. (You've) got to find a way to stay positive ... find a way to get through it and be better because of it."

Johnson has never faced the Angels, but is 0-4 with a 7.66 ERA in five starts away from home this season.

Toronto enters this series playing well, despite the fact that it still sits in last place of the American League East, 14 games behind the division- leading Boston Red Sox.

The Blue Jays won for the fifth time in seven tries on Wednesday, as Jose Bautista's RBI double in the top of the 10th inning helped them beat the Oakland Athletics, 5-2.

"I thought we played a good game," Gibbons said.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, is certainly happy to be heading home after suffering three straight walk-off losses to the Texas Rangers. It was the first time that the team dropped three consecutive games in that fashion.

In fact, the last team to get swept in a three-game series on three walk-off homers was the Montreal Expos -- now the Washington Nationals -- from May 10-12, 1999, against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Obviously this last week has been rough for some guys in the 'pen, but we're going to keep going," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "Things will get better as we move forward. Some guys who have been pitching a lot need to recharge a bit."

Getting the call for the Angels on Thursday will be righty Garrett Richards, who is 2-4 with a 4.33 ERA. Richards did not get a decision on Saturday in Oakland, but pitched well, scattering three hits over five scoreless innings in his team's 3-1 loss.

The Blue Jays and Angels split their eight meetings last season.

08/01 10:26:32 ET

TV
  • World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FOX50

Scoreboard
Local
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
Final
BRK 90
BOS 95
Final
OKC 94
MIN 112
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
Final
HOU 90
GSW 83
Final
LAL 98
UTA 91
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
NOP
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
Final
LOS 2
MIN 1
Final
NYR 4
SJS 0
Final
WIN 1
CAL 4
Final
ANA 3
STL 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
TAM
 
Final
BAL 29
ATL 7
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
IND 27
CIN 0
Final
JAC 24
CLE 6
Final
CHI 14
MIA 27
Final
BUF 17
MIN 16
Final
DET 24
NOS 23
Final
STL 28
SEA 26
Final
WAS 19
TEN 17
Final
SDC 20
KAN 23
Final
OAK 13
ARI 24
Final
DAL 31
NYG 21
Final
DEN 42
SFX 17
8:30pm Tonight
PIT
HOU