The Blue Jays are usually overmatched against David Price.
The American League Cy Young Award winner has a 15-2 career record to go with a 2.31 career ERA in 19 starts against Toronto, and he hasn't been letting up. Pitching for the Rays earlier this season, Price went 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Blue Jays.
"He's good," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "One of the best in baseball. He can really overpower you. It's tough to string a lot of hits together on him. He throws strikes. He won't walk guys, so you gotta beat him. And you talk about confidence, he knows he's been good against us, and that probably gives him confidence, too."
Traded to Detroit on July 31, Price made his first start with the Tigers on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Though he didn't pick up the win, Price went 8 2/3 innings, struck out 10 and gave up three earned runs in a 4-3 victory.
"I feel a lot better about everything right now," Price said. "Helping these guys win a game, it feels good."
Price will get another chance to impress his new team against an organization he's bullied for years.
"Honestly, I really can't put my finger on it," Price said. "It's just a team I've pitched well against. I'm not really sure why.
"They always have a very high-powered offense. That's one thing we always talked about whenever I was with Tampa. Everybody says, 'Oh, you're supposed to beat the Blue Jays because they're one of the last-place teams.' But it's not their offense."
Meanwhile, Mark Buehrle will get the start for the Jays. The veteran has been a bit inconsistent over his past three starts (13 2/3 total innings), and has only one win since June 1. Only twice in 23 starts this season has he pitched fewer than five innings, but both of those starts have come in his past three contests.
All of this has come after Buehrle began the season 10-1.
"He's been scuffling the last couple of times out, so he's due," Gibbons said.
The 35-year-old lefty had a rough outing on Tuesday against Baltimore, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs in just four innings.
"I feel like I've been making good pitches at times and they're finding holes," Buehrle said. "Besides the home runs and the double off the wall, if I'm making pitches, they're putting the ball on the ground and finding holes; can't really guard against that."
Tigers: Ausmus seeing different shifts
After the Blue Jays' Colby Rasmus laid down a bunt against the Tigers' infield shift on Friday night, Detroit manager Brad Ausmus spoke about the future of the league's revolutionary defensive strategy.
"I firmly believe hitters are going to make an adjustment to this," Ausmus said. "Some already are."
Ausmus said he already has noticed a tweak in some shifts, with teams bringing the shortstop in to guard against the bunt while he still tries to cover the left side of the infield on his own.
"Omar [Vizquel] and I, we've kind of felt that was the way to go," Ausmus said. "If you're going to shift and you're worried about a guy bunting, you bring the one [defensive] guy in and move him back with each strike."
Blue Jays: Lind, Encarnacion due back soon
Adam Lind won't require any more rehab games, and he is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays in time for their series opener against the Mariners in Seattle on Monday.
Toronto's designated hitter, who's been sidelined with a fractured right foot since early July, appeared in one game for the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles on Thursday. He missed Friday's contest with back tightness, but that ailment wasn't serious and didn't affect his rehab assignment.
"He's good, he's coming with us. We need him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said prior to Saturday's game against the Tigers.
Edwin Encarnacion, who's been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps since early July, was expected to appear in a rehab game with Class A Advanced Dunedin on Saturday, depending on how he felt when we arrived at the field.
"Hopefully by the end of the week," Gibbons said of Encarnacion's return to the Blue Jays' lineup.
• With a single in the first inning of Saturday's game, Jose Bautista has now reached base safely in 102 of his 111 starts this season. He's also reached base safely in 18 straight contests.
• Buehrle is not known for his strikeout ability, and he hasn't registered more than five K's in 10 straight starts. He managed to do it three times in his first 13 starts this season, including 11 in the season opener against Tampa.