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CWS@TOR: Happ fans eight over 7 2/3 scoreless innings

Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ will look to buck a bizarre season-long trend when he takes the mound to face the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon.

The left-hander has won each of his odd-numbered starts, securing victories in his first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth and 11th outings this season for a perfect 6-0 record with a 1.18 ERA.

But on Happ's even-numbered starts, he's experienced notable struggles, going 1-4 with a 9.53 ERA. He'll make his 12th start in the Interleague series finale at Rogers Centre.

"I think some things are more crisp than others on different days," Happ said following his last outing, a 7 2/3-innings win against the White Sox on Thursday. "I wasn't perfect with location of the fastball, but I think it was crisp ... so that definitely helped. In other games, the Baltimore game [on June 15], it was the changeup that helped and in Cincinnati [on June 21], I was struggling with it at all."

Happ, who is 7-4 overall, is 3-3 with a 5.93 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers.

Happ will oppose Milwaukee right-hander Wily Peralta, who's won five straight games after going winless in five. Riding a career-high winning streak, Peralta will face the American League East-leading Blue Jays for the first time in a bid for his 10th win of the season.

Peralta looks to help the Brewers extend their lead in the National League Central, which was 6 1/2 games over the Cardinals entering Tuesday's action.

"That's going to let us relax. Not that you let up, but guys like me, [Aramis Ramirez], [Jonathan] Lucroy, can get a day for recovery," said outfielder Carlos Gomez. "One game makes a big difference when you play every day."

Brewers: Gomez back in action
Besides getting a breather, Carlos Gomez said his two-day break gave his sore neck a chance to heal. He still had some soreness below his left ear from Saturday's collision with Ryan Braun, but he knows the incident could have been much worse.

"It was my jaw I was a little worried about. I dislocated my jaw twice," said Gomez, who went 0-for-3 with a walk in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays. "It was on a hit by pitch in 2003 and I had to put on the wires for like a month. Then, 2006, again, I think when I was sliding into second base and I was hit. That time [it did not dislocate] completely, but I had to put, like, rubber bands around my head for like a month when I went to sleep.

"That's why I worried. Now it's a little stiff. That area [by the ear] is really sensitive from the impact. We're cool."

Blue Jays: Bautista homers in return
Jose Bautista hit a solo homer in the first inning of Tuesday's return to lineup as the designated hitter.

In the starting lineup for the first time since straining his left hamstring on June 22, Bautista worked Brewers starter Marco Estrada to a full count before sending the sixth pitch of the at-bat over the left-center-field.

The power-hitting right fielder said prior to the game that he hoped to return to his regular position on Wednesday, but manager John Gibbons will again slot Bautista in the DH role.

"I wanted to play [Tuesday] but I'm consciously not going to fight my manager," Bautista said. "What he's doing, I think it's reasonable. The same thing [Wednesday]. But if I feel well, there's no restrictions ... I think I'm old enough and disciplined enough to not make it worse by playing defense too soon."

Worth noting
• Toronto starter Drew Hutchison fired a career-high 10 strikeouts and was perfect through 4 2/3 innings before yielding an infield single to Khris Davis on Tuesday.

• Closer Francisco Rodriguez has tied the Brewers' franchise record for the most saves prior to the All-Star break with 27.

• Toronto leads the Majors with 110 home runs, including jacks in 10 of its last 12 contests. Comments