Blue Jays' cupboard bare when it comes to left-handers for Game 5 against Rangers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Blue Jays' cupboard bare when it comes to left-handers for Game 5 against Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Loup works against the Texas Rangers during twelfth inning of game two American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. The Blue Jays' bullpen is bare when it comes to left-handers.Toronto manager John Gibbons confirmed Wednesday that Loup is still unavailable because of a family matter.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
October 14, 2015 - 10:56 AM

TORONTO - The Blue Jays' bullpen is bare when it comes to left-handers.

Toronto manager John Gibbons confirmed Wednesday that Aaron Loup is still unavailable because of a family matter. Brett Cecil is out injured and starter David Price, who threw 50 pitches in relief Monday, is not likely to see action against Texas in the deciding game of the best-of-five American League Division Series.

The Rangers had five left-handed hitters in their starting lineup, including almost all the meat of the order. So who will get the Rangers lefties out if needed Wednesday?

Marcus Stroman, replied Gibbons.

The right-handed Stroman gets the start against Texas, which sends out 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

The Toronto manager said he won't use Price, who becomes a free agent after the season.

"I won't abuse him," Gibbons said. "He's done a hell of a job for us here. I think we'll advance and he'll get a pitch again."

"Maybe if this is the World Series and this is your last go, there's no holding anything back. But I have a conscience," he added.

Texas manager Jeff Banister said he is preparing as if Price may see action.

"I'm not going to assume that he has any player over there that is not available. So we'll prepare for it. And if we don't see him, we don't see him. And if we do, we'll be prepared for it."

Gibbons also pointed to reliever Aaron Sanchez, who has been working in the role of setup man for closer Roberto Osuna, as having success against lefties. Mark Lowe and Liam Hendriks were also in good form, he added.

"So we feel good about the guys we have," he said.

Price aside, Gibbons said all hands are on deck again as Toronto faces a must-win game for a third straight outing.

That means Game 3 starter Marco Estrada could pitch put of the bullpen if needed.

"There's a possibility. No guarantee," said Gibbons.

The Jays are the 15th team in MLB history to force a Game 5 in a best-of-five series when down 0-2. Five of those went on to win including two teams that like Toronto lost the first two games at home (the Yankees in 2001 and San Francisco Giants in 2012).

"We need Stroman to be good, that's pretty obvious," said Gibbons.

"Really it comes down to ... we win when we score," he added. "That's no easy task with Hamels, that's for sure."

Stroman and Hamels met in Game 2. Neither figured in the decision with the game going to 14 innings before Texas won 6-4.

"There's no tomorrow for either team," said Gibbons.

The home side has yet to win in the series.

Banister said he too would use all resources available to him, including Game 1 starter Yovani Gallardo.

"We've shown up in these type of games, we shown up in these types of moments, albeit this is a win-or-go-home (game)," he said.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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