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MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Mark Buehrle Will Set Table for Surging Toronto Blue Jays in New York

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have caught fire, and not a moment too soon with a three-game series against the AL East-leading New York Yankees, set to begin on Friday night.

The weekend set will mark the start of a key stretch that will see the streaking Jays face three consecutive division opponents, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles.

Mark Buehrle will get the nod in the the series opener, fresh off his best outing of the season. Buehrle allowed only five hits and one earned run over seven innings in a 3-2 win against the Boston Red Sox last Saturday. He was effective against the Yankees at home last month, holding them to two earned runs while striking out seven and walking only one over seven innings.

However, the road wasn’t nearly as kind as Buehrle lasted just 5.1 innings and allowed five earned runs in a 5-3 loss here in the Bronx.

If history is any indication, the veteran lefty’s best days are ahead of him.

This is precisely the time of year when Buehrle always seems to round into form. He’s posted a stellar 91-58 record from May through July over the course of his illustrious 14-year career. His ERA has dipped under six only once this season, but he doesn’t strike me as a guy that’s ready to hit the panic button. A master of his craft, Buehrle has recorded an ERA north of four only once over the last six seasons.

With injuries and ineffectiveness plaguing the Jays starting rotation early on, now is the time for Buehrle’s veteran leadership to take hold. Optimism is suddenly on the rise in Toronto, but the window of opportunity will be slammed shut if the Jays are unable to at least take two of three games from the Yankees this weekend.

The offense has done its part, now it’s Buehrle’s turn.

Sean Murphy is a Toronto Blue Jays writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @_SeanMurphy, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.