video thumbnail

MIL@CHC: Fiers fans Castro for 14th strikeout of game

Mike Fiers has made a smooth transition into the Brewers' starting rotation, and he'll look to help the team extend its four-game winning streak when he faces the Blue Jays in the series opener Tuesday at Miller Park.

Fiers, who joined the rotation in place of injured righty Matt Garza, is coming off a 14-strikeout performance in a win over the Cubs on Thursday.

The club is skipping Kyle Lohse's start because of his sprained ankle. Because of a day off Monday, Fiers will be pitching on regular rest.

Fiers is 2-0 in a pair of August starts, allowing one earned run and two walks over 14 innings.

"I feel like I've been pitching like this all year," Fiers said. "I kind of got my confidence back from last year, probably in winter ball. Coming into Spring Training, I felt good. I just took off from there. Yeah, I got sent to Triple-A, but it didn't kill my confidence sending me down. I just had to wait for my opportunity and do it now."

The Blue Jays will need a strong start out of J.A. Happ as they try to keep pace in the race for the American League Wild Card. The Blue Jays, 4-11 in August, have been unable to recapture the magic from a torrid run in May and a playoff spot seems more unlikely with every day.

Happ has been one of the team's most reliable starters in the second half, posting a 2.51 ERA over five starts.

He entered his last outing with a 1.71 ERA since the All-Star break, but hit a bit of a rough patch vs. the Mariners. The veteran lefty surrendered a costly two-run single to Dustin Ackley in the fifth and allowed five runs in his six innings.

"The results weren't there, so that's obviously frustrating, every game is big, but you can't get too down on this," Happ said. "I felt good, I felt like I was making pitches."

Blue Jays: Rotation getting rest
The Blue Jays' starting rotation could use a breather, but this week might be taking it to the extreme.

Toronto has three off-days within the span of a week. The first came after a recent series in Seattle with another pair on the way Monday and Thursday.

A day off would normally be a welcome break for a staff that includes veterans R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle plus rookies Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman, but in this case it might be too much of a good thing.

"I'd rather have them spread out a little bit to be honest with you," Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said. "I think when you get three within eight days, that's probably too much. But at the same time, it's not going to hurt us.

Brewers: Gennett nearing full speed
Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett believes it won't be much longer before he's once again running full speed on the basepaths, and the team's upcoming schedule could help.

Off-days on Monday and Thursday, plus the fact the Blue Jays are starting a left-handed pitcher on Tuesday night at Miller Park, will give Gennett three of the next four days to rest the right quadriceps that has been giving him some trouble since a series in Washington immediately following the All-Star break. To avoid turning a nagging injury into a significant one, manager Ron Roenicke has encouraged Gennett to go easy on the bases when he can

Worth noting
• Melky Cabrera has hit safely in 23 of his last 30 games since July 13.

• Brewers manager Ron Roenicke filed a report to Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre requesting a second look at the controversial double play that ended a Brewers' rally in the seventh inning Saturday night.

Rickie Weeks was called for interference on the play by second-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after executing what he and Roenicke each insisted was a perfectly clean take-out slide. When Weeks and Roenicke protested, Wendelstedt told them he saw Weeks hit second base and roll into Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas behind the bag. Comments