|Jays, Sanchez seek sweep of A's|
When the visiting Toronto Blue Jays go for a series sweep against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon, they won't get a chance to face injured former teammate Marco Estrada.
But all you have to do is look around the two clubhouses to see that Estrada has impacted both teams.
The veteran right-hander, who signed with the A's in free agency over the winter after going 39-40 for the Blue Jays over the past four seasons, surprised his new Oakland teammates with green bathrobes -- featuring last names and uniform numbers on the back -- during spring training.
Almost a month later, they are a staple in the Oakland clubhouse after, and even sometimes before, games.
Estrada, currently out with a lumbar strain, said he stole the idea from David Price, who purchased bathrobes for the Blue Jays in 2015.
"I wore mine literally every day, not just during the season, but the offseason," Estrada told reporters during spring training. "I thought it was the greatest thing. So when I got here, I missed mine. But I didn't want to be the only one with one, so I got them for everyone."
Liam Hendriks, a member of that 2015 Blue Jays team that also has since joined the A's, immediately applauded Estrada's gesture upon seeing the green-and-gold gifts.
"The entire team embraced it; there weren't too many guys I didn't see wearing one," he told reporters. "I've still got my Jays one hanging up in my closet at home.
"It's definitely a good way to endear yourself from the get-go, which he wasn't going to have a problem with anyway, Marco's a good dude."
A's hitters have hardly needed to shower after two consecutive one-run outings to open the three-game series.
Sunday, they will try to break out against right-hander Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.86), a California native who has never pitched in Oakland in his career. He hasn't fared well against the A's in his home games, going 0-2 with an 8.71 ERA in four appearances, including two starts.
Interestingly, one of two current A's who have homered against Sanchez in their career head-to-heads is Kendrys Morales, a former member of the Blue Jays.
Morales was called upon to pitch the ninth inning of a 10-1 loss on Saturday, keeping the ball in the ballpark but allowing one run and one hit and two walks.
The A's will counter with left-hander Brett Anderson (3-0, 2.63), who has never beaten Toronto, going 0-1 with a 2.57 in two career starts.
Anderson has given up two hits, including a double, in three career duels with Toronto third baseman Brandon Drury, who has homered in each of the first two games of the series.
Hot or not, Drury could find himself relegated to a utility role as early as this upcoming week, with Toronto reportedly set to promote prize prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. from the minors.
"I don't know when he's coming," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo insisted to reporters on Friday, preferring to focus on the series at hand. "I really don't."
--Field Level Media