Indians starter Justin Masterson began his first All-Star season on April 2 in Toronto, where he allowed just one run in six innings in a 4-1 win. On Wednesday in Cleveland, he'll take on the Blue Jays again in his first start after being named an All-Star on Saturday.
Since that season-opening win, Masterson has tossed three shutouts on the way to building a 10-7 record with a 3.78 ERA. Masterson has been a workhorse, as he ranks fourth in the American League with 128 2/3 innings pitched.
His last start, however, was his shortest of the year, and he'll look to rebound on Wednesday facing the Blue Jays. Going just 4 2/3 innings against the Tigers on Friday, the 28-year-old right-hander gave up six runs on seven hits and four walks.
"He didn't have his real sharp breaking ball," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "A lot of times, you see him back-door to a lefty or have some power to it. There were times where he got through the lineup towards the middle of his outing where he started throwing it a little harder, and it was more effective."
On the other side of the hill, the Blue Jays will send out a pitcher who also struggled against the Tigers his last time out. Esmil Rogers surrendered seven runs in five innings in Detroit on Thursday, marking just the second time this season the 27-year-old right-hander allowed more than three runs. For Rogers, who gave up two hits and a run in his first three pitches, it was his sinker that failed him.
"Sometimes you come into the game ... you know you're going to have a bad day," Rogers said. "In the bullpen, I knew my sinker wasn't working too much today, and I tried to use it in the game, tried to bring it back, but they stayed normal."
Rogers also pitched against the Indians in the first series of the season, but he was a reliever at the time. In two appearances against the Indians, Rogers surrendered one hit and registered one strikeout in 1 1/3 innings of work.
Indians: Chisenhall posting improved numbers
Lonnie Chisenhall was the Indians' Opening Day third baseman when the team took on the Blue Jays to begin the year. He went just 2-for-14 in the series, striking out six times. It marked a tough start to the season for Chisenhall, who was demoted to Triple-A on May 13 after batting .213 with 11 RBIs and a .253 on-base percentage in 26 games.
Recalled on June 18, Chisenhall has been much improved in his second go-round. Despite an 0-for-3 performance on Tuesday, Chisenhall is batting .279 with nine RBIs, two homers and six doubles in 18 games since rejoining the big league club.
"I feel good right now," Chisenhall said. "Baseball's a tough sport. It comes and goes as it pleases sometimes. But right now, I feel good in the box. I feel confident."
Blue Jays: Rasmus heating up
Colby Rasmus didn't have a huge day for the Blue Jays against the Indians on Tuesday, but with a 1-for-4 night at the plate, he has reached safely in each of his last four games.
For the most part, Rasmus has been huge for the Blue Jays in the past 10 games, batting .333 (12-for-36) with nine RBIs and two home runs. With 16 homers on the year, Rasmus is tied with Baltimore's Adam Jones for the most among all Major League center fielders.
For Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, it's been Rasmus' recent versatility at the plate that is impressive.
"He's getting some hits the other way, too," Gibbons said. "Early on, everything he was firing was right-center, right-field line, maybe some straightaway home runs. But he's getting some hits away. He looks really good right now."
• According to Tuesday's Final Vote update, Blue Jays right-hander Steve Delabar leads four other American League relievers for the last spot on the All-Star team, thanks in large part to the club's social media campaign. Voting, which started immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, ends at 4 p.m. ET Thursday.
• With Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Indians, the Blue Jays have dropped six of their last eight road games.
• With a win on Wednesday, the Indians would clinch their first season series victory over the Blue Jays since 2010.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.