Even with some All-Star additions, the Toronto Blue Jays still must prove they're worthy of all the preseason hype surrounding the club.
The Blue Jays look to bounce back from a season-opening defeat when they continue their home set with the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
With the additions of stars like reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Melky Cabrera, expectations are certainly high for Toronto in 2013.
However, things got off to a rough start as Dickey allowed four runs, four walks and a homer over six innings while the Blue Jays managed four hits in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Cleveland.
"You wish it would have went different, you hope for it to be different," Dickey said.
Reyes, Cabrera, and sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion went a combined 2 for 12 as Toronto was held to three hits in six innings by Cleveland starter Justin Masterson.
Brandon Morrow hopes to help the Blue Jays rebound when he takes the mound Wednesday. The right-hander went 10-7 with a 2.96 ERA in 21 starts in 2012, missing a little more than two months in the middle of the season with a strained left oblique.
Morrow, who is 0-2 with a 4.31 ERA in five starts versus Cleveland, went 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in six games while working on his offspeed pitches and location during spring training.
"I needed to make a change if I was going to take myself from a mid-four ERA to somebody that could go out there and give you a better chance to win every five days," Morrow said.
The Indians counter with Ubaldo Jimenez, who set career worsts for losses and ERA while going 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA in 31 starts a year ago. He also allowed an AL-high 32 stolen bases.
"Last year, I felt lost. I didn't even know what to do when I got to the mound," Jimenez told MLB's official website.
Now, he's eager to leave that experience in the past.
"I'm excited to be able to go out there and compete," Jimenez said. "I feel really good. I'm not worrying about mechanics or anything like that. I'm just worrying about getting outs."
Jimenez is 1-1 with 7.63 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays. He allowed eight runs, two homers and walked four in 2 1-3 innings in his only previous appearance at Toronto, an 11-9 loss July 14.
Reyes, Bautista and Cabrera are batting a combined .161 (5 for 31) against the right-hander.
Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Dickey to help Terry Francona win his debut as Indians manager.
"It's great to get one for (Francona)," said closer Chris Perez, who faced four batters to earn the save. "There's a lot better feeling after (winning) opening day this time than last year. He's going to get a lot more wins here, but it's good to get the first one out of the way."
Center fielder Michael Bourn had two hits in his Cleveland debut. He's 15 for 30 in his last seven games against the Blue Jays.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved