Marcus Stroman expected to be OK, will start series finale against Rays

TORONTO — Marcus Stroman will make his scheduled start on Sunday when the Blue Jays wrap-up a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The right-hander left his last start against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday with a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand, leaving his availability for Sunday’s game in question.

“He will pitch tomorrow,” said manager John Gibbons prior to Saturday’s game. “Everybody thinks he should be OK. He dealt with it last year (too).”

Stroman was replaced by Ryan Tepera in the eighth inning after the blister began bothering him while he was throwing warm-up pitches. The outing was one of the best of the season from the 27-year-old, who held the American League East-leading Red Sox to just one earned run on two hits over seven innings while striking out four.

Following the game Stroman admitted the blister was felt most prominently when throwing his sinker — his primary pitch.

“He’s got the ability, if it’s bothering him, to go other things a little bit more often,” said Gibbons. “Last year was the first year it really ever happened to him. A big topic was the baseballs… you’ve just got to adapt.”

Stroman is 4-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 16 starts this season. In 11 career starts against the Rays Stroman is 5-4 with a 4.37 ERA.

In addition to Stroman, the club provided injury updates on Josh Donaldson, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Aaron Sanchez and Brandon Drury.

Donaldson, who has been out since May 28 with a calf injury, will begin ramping up the intensity of his workouts in the coming days in preparation for gameplay.

Drury, acquired from the Yankees in the J.A. Happ trade, remains with a cast on his left hand after a CT Scan earlier in the week revealed a fracture at the base of the fifth metacarpal. He will receive follow-up imaging on the injury next week.

Gurriel Jr. continues throwing and hitting with no issues after suffering a left high ankle sprain and a Grade 1 sprain in his left knee last month. According to the team, Gurriel Jr. has started ground ball progression and running progression over the past few days.

Sanchez (right index finger contusion) pitched on Thursday in the Gulf Coast League and is scheduled to throw on Tuesday with Dunedin. The 26-year-old, who has been out of the lineup since June 21, is 3-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 15 starts this season.

Dhiren Mahiban, The Canadian Press

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