(Sports Network) - Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista looks to continue his weekend power surge this afternoon when the Blue Jays play the rubber match of their three-game series against Houston.
Last weekend at Minnesota, Bautista hit a combined five home runs and had seven RBI in a three-game sweep. On Friday against Houston, he went hitless in three at-bats, but kicked his bat into high gear yesterday with a pair of long balls, giving him a major league-best 18 on the season.
Bautista has now reached base safely in 35 of his 37 games this year. He's homered 15 times over his last 24 contests, ultimately raising his season average to a major league-best .364.
"I'm not surprised by the fact that I'm playing well," said Bautista, who is on pace to surpass the career-high 54 homers he hit last season. "Given what happened last year and knowing what I'm capable of doing, I expect to perform at a high level."
Yunel Escobar belted a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Blue Jays rallied from a four-run deficit for a 7-5 win yesterday.
Bautista blasted a three-run homer in the sixth and added a solo shot in the eighth.
Chris Johnson knocked in three runs for Houston, which will finish its first ever regular-season series in Toronto this afternoon with Wandy Rodriguez on the mound.
The southpaw is 1-0 over his last five starts and he's coming off throwing eight shutout innings in a no-decision at Atlanta on Tuesday. Rodriguez pitched once against the Blue Jays, getting the win in a six-inning effort.
Kyle Drabek gets the start this afternoon for the Blue Jays. The 23-year-old right-hander is coming off a strong outing against Detroit on Monday, when he limited the Tigers to one run in seven innings. Toronto is 7-2 in his last nine starts. This will be his first appearance against the Astros, a team his father, Doug, spent four seasons with during his major league career.
Houston, which is 4-1 all-time against Toronto, has lost six of its last seven games overall. The Astros haven't won a series since April 29-May 1 when they took two of three from Milwaukee. They've lost six straight series since that time.