Wedge bringing in the big boys for Jays’ finale
Manager Eric Wedge is breaking out a couple of his big bats Thursday, with left-handers Luis Jimenez and Carlos Peguero both in the lineup against Toronto right-hander Henderson Alvarez in tonight’s 4:07 p.m. PT game at Rogers Centre.
Jimenez, a 6-foot-3, 280-pounder, will be making his second Major League start at designated hitter. Peguero, 6-5 and 245, has been with the team off and on the past two years, but this will be his second start since returning as a September callup.
Peguero is 2-for-7 with a home run since his return, but hasn’t played since Sept. 3.
“Hopefully one of them can run into one,” Wedge said. “I felt it was a good time to get Peguero back in there. He hadn’t played in a while. And we’re still taking our looks at Jimenez. They’ve got as much power as anybody. To have them both in there at the same time, hopefully they can help us win a ballgame today.”
That would be just fine with Felix Hernandez, who is looking to get back on track after two losses to start September.
“Those last two outings weren’t good,” Hernandez said of his losses to the A’s and Angels. “I’ve got to do something better.”
He’ll pitch against a 22-year-old who considers Hernandez his idol, as Alvarez grew up in the same city of Valencia, Venezuela.
The two talked at length last year in Seattle, with Hernandez offering advice to his fellow Venezuelan.
“I try to help,” Hernandez said. “He’s a countrymate. But [Thursday], I’m not going to help. Nope.”
Wedge has used his bullpen extensively in the past two games, so a strong game from Hernandez wouldn’t hurt. But the manager said his relievers are all available and in good shape, as none have had to throw very long stints in either game.
Here’s today’s full lineup:
Dustin Ackley 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
John Jaso C
Michael Saunders LF
Justin Smoak 1B
Luis Jimenez DH
Carlos Peguero RF
Brendan Ryan SS
Felix Hernandez RHP