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Blue Jays look for offensive resurgence, host Cubs

Aug 28, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (4) hits a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After ending a two-game scoring drought, the Toronto Blue Jays hope they will get back to their winning ways when they open a three-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs Monday night.

The Blue Jays took an 8-3 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Sunday and were swept in the three-game series.

The difference Sunday is that they were actually able to score after being shut out in the first two games.

Los Angeles outscored the Blue Jays 22-3 in the three-game set.

“You’ve got to be consistent and you’ve got to understand that it’s a really talented group and there’s going to be ups and downs over the course of the season,” Schneider said. “And you trust that the guys who are leaders and the guys that are veterans on the team take care of that. And (Monday) starts a new series.”

The Blue Jays also were careless in fundamentals in the field and on the bases, problems that have popped up throughout an inconsistent season.

“Look at the standings and understand that every game is important. Three hours out of your day has to be completely focused on trying to win,” Schneider said. “That’s the goal moving forward.”

After returning from a 6-1 road trip, the Blue Jays looked forward to building on that during a six-game homestand against two non-contenders. Now they need to sweep the Cubs just to break even.

The Cubs are coming off a 9-7 loss to the host Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series.

The Cubs are 14-13 in August. They are seeking their first winning month since going 19-8 in May of last season, excluding October of 2021, where they went 2-1.

Toronto is 11-13 in August.

Right-hander Jose Berrios (9-5, 5.28 ERA) will start the opener for Toronto. He is 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs.

Right-hander Javier Assad (0-0, 0.00), who will be making his second career major league start, is scheduled to pitch for the Cubs. He pitched four innings in his debut against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

The Cubs will put left-hander Justin Steele and right-hander Adrian Sampson on the restricted list for their three-game series in Toronto since they do not meet Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements and cannot enter the country.

“Only two guys, we’d like it to be no one, but at the end of the day we trusted everybody to make the best decision for them,” Ross said. “And it gives other guys opportunity as well. So, it is what it is. Everybody has to deal with it around the league.”

Steele had been lined up to pitch next on Wednesday, the series finale.

Left-hander Brendon Little and right-hander Jeremiah Estrada will likely be the replacements, as they were in the Cubs’ clubhouse after the loss on Sunday, according to multiple media reports.

If they see action against the Blue Jays, they’ll have to deal with center fielder George Springer, who extended his hitting streak to a season-best 12 games with a solo home run in the ninth inning Sunday. He is batting .455 (20-for-44) with one home run and 10 RBIs during the stretch.

–Field Level Media