TORONTO — Canadian right-hander Mike Soroka says his start Tuesday for the Atlanta Braves at the Rogers Centre will be like making a second debut.
The 20-year-old from Calgary will be making his fifth major league start Womens A.J. Green Jersey , but Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays he will be pitching against the team he grew up watching and with friends in attendance.
Soroka (2-1, 2.57 ERA) will be facing Blue Jays left-hander Jaime Garcia (2-5, 5.71), who is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in eight career starts against Atlanta.
It also will be a return for first-year Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who was the Blue Jays GM from October 2009 through 2015.
“Even though I’m from the other side of Canada, it’s the one team you grew up watching,” Soroka told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’ll be pretty special.”
He has pitched before at the Rogers Centre, as a 15-year-old in a tournament.
“It’s almost like a second debut of sorts,” Soroka said. “Just get out there, knowing that a bunch of friends are going to be coming there, a lot of friends who’ve been Blue Jays fans for a long time too. … I’m just going to be familiar with the Rogers Centre, so that’s going to be cool too. And I’ll be out there on a mound I’ve been on before too, so that’s pretty awesome.”
Soroka is coming off his best major league outing. After spending a month on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a 2-0 win over the New York Mets Wednesday. He left after 6 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and one walk and adding four strikeouts.
Soroka does not expect to feel more excitement in this start Tuesday than he did in his previous four.
“There’s a certain amount of amped up you can have in the big leagues Anthony Mantha Jersey ,” Soroka said. “I don’t think I’ll be any more amped up than I was my last four, especially because it’s a new thing right now. I don’t think I’m running short on adrenalin.”
The Braves (42-29) are in first place in the National League East. They have won two in a row and six of their past eight after defeating the San Diego Padres 4-1 Sunday.
The Blue Jays (33-38) have won three in a row and seven of their past 10 games after completing a three-game sweep Sunday with an 8-6 win over the Washington Nationals, who are second in the NL East.
The Blue Jays have won seven straight home games for the first time since July 2-8, 2016. After struggling at home earlier in the season, they are now 19-19 at the Rogers Centre. They are 6-2 against the NL this season.
Toronto right fielder Randal Grichuk, an early-season disappointment who also spent time on the disabled list with a right knee sprain, had two solo home runs and four RBIs Sunday in going 3-for-3 with a walk. He has hit five homers in his past 12 games.
“I feel like we’ve found a lot of consistency when we’ve been playing here lately,” Grichuk said of the Blue Jays’ recent success at home. “Obviously that (0-3) Tampa Bay series (against the Rays at Tropicana Field) threw a wrench at us, but I feel like we’re swinging the bat well, and when our pitchers go out and give us a chance to win, we’ve been doing a good job of being able to score and get some leads. Hopefully that just continues.”
Another early-season disappointment, Toronto second baseman Devon Travis was 2-for-4 with a double Sunday and is batting .345 (20-for-58) with three homers and eight RBIs in his past 19 games.
The timing of a possible return from the disabled list of third baseman Josh Donaldson (tight left calf) is not known yet.
The Braves, meanwhile, will have catcher Kurt Suzuki available for the game Tuesday. He was struck in the head on a backswing during the second inning Sunday at SunTrust Park and left the game. Tests indicated that he did not have a concussion.
“It was kind of a precautionary thing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He got hit good. The doctors wanted to look at him and I’m sure he wanted to come back out. But something like that is not something you want to mess with.”
DALLAS — Two days after the Minnesota Wild defeated the Dallas Stars 5-2 at Xcel Energy Center Brandon Williams Jersey , the Wild seek another favorable result in the rematch Saturday night at American Airlines Center.
In that victory, which made the Wild (43-24-10, 96 points) 5-2-3 in their past 10 games, Minnesota got two goals from Zach Parise, a short-handed goal from Mikael Granlund and power-play goals from Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker.
But none were bigger than Granlund’s equalizer, which came after Dallas had taken an early 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by Stars captain Jamie Benn and with Dallas in the early stages of a four-minute power play.
“Absolutely, we’re down 1-0, they can make it two, potentially three at that point and we score the goal while short-handed. It was a big turning point,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame. “It gave us a lot of life after that because we were pretty dead the first eight or 10 minutes.”
Minnesota is 17-18-12 on the road and will likely be without defenseman Gustav Olofsson (upper body) after Boudreau termed Olofsson “very questionable” to travel to Dallas for the rematch after Thursday’s victory.
Besides seeing his team respond well to the early deficit on Thursday, Boudreau also sees something else rather encouraging from the Wild as near the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs-strong team unity, which often manifests itself in players sticking up for one another and propping each other up.
“Well, that’s the only way you can win is if you’re a team through and through. Sticking up for each other is a big sign of it,” Boudreau said.
Dallas (39-31-8, 86 points) Womens Jared Goff Jersey , on the other hand, has dropped nine of its past 10 games. The Stars, who are 25-12-3 at home, are literally hanging on in the race for one of the two wild-card playoff spots in the Western Conference.
The Stars, who have four regular-season games remaining (three road, one home), are currently six points behind Colorado and St. Louis (92 points each) for the final wild-card spot in the West. The Blues also have a game in hand.
But as it has been for much of March, a lack of effort hasn’t been the issue for the Stars. Its recent rash of losses have instead been because of a lack of execution on both ends of the ice.
“We worked hard again,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said after Thursday’s loss. “We battled like crazy, competed, did the things you want to ask for. Every mistake that we made ended up in our net and the chances we had, we didn’t finish on and they did. They seemed to turn our scoring chances into our goals. Again, we competed at a very, very high level and that’s the way we’re going to finish the year.”
Stars defenseman Stephen Johns left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury and afterward Hitchcock confirmed Johns might have a concussion.
After practice on Friday, Hitchcock said Johns will miss Saturday’s game Womens Tom Pyatt Jersey , so Julius Honka will replace him on the Stars’ blue line. Hitchcock said Johns could miss at least the next four or five days, making his status for Dallas’ three-game road trip to California next week uncertain at best.
Dallas is just 1-7-2 in its last 10 games and Saturday will mark the Stars’ final home game of the season, making it only fitting that the organization will honor franchise icon Mike Modano, who was originally selected first overall in the 1988 draft by the Minnesota North Stars five years before that franchise relocated to Dallas.
But all is not lost, at least not yet, for the Stars, who still maintain the slimmest of hopes of making the postseason. Dallas would not only have to win out, but the Stars would also need a lot of help.
Still, veteran center Jason Spezza isn’t giving up the fight, at least not until the Stars are officially eliminated.
“Five-on-five, we did a good job (on Thursday),” Spezza said. “We controlled the play five-on-five. We gave up too much on the special-teams end. It’s hard to win on the road that way.”
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