R.A. Dickey is coming off his first win as a member of the Blue Jays. Chris Sale is coming off his worst start as a Major Leaguer.
Dickey started his turnaround, while Sale is hoping to begin his, as the Blue Jays and White Sox square off in the finale of a four-game set at Rogers Centre on Thursday night.
After allowing 10 total runs over his first two starts, Dickey held the Royals to one run over 6 1/3 innings in a 3-2 win on Saturday.
"My posture was a little better for my mechanics [Saturday], and that's something I feel I can build on," Dickey said. "I still wasn't as sharp as I can be. I'm not all the way there, but I'm pretty close."
With their struggling ace, acquired in the offseason in a trade that sent catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud to the Mets, the Blue Jays have yet to find consistent starting pitching.
After Josh Johnson shined on Tuesday, striking out eight over seven innings of two-run ball against the White Sox, Wednesday's starter J.A. Happ surrendered five runs to take his first loss.
The Blue Jays' starting rotation entered Wednesday ranked 28th in the Majors with a 5.77 ERA.
The White Sox starting five hasn't been much better, coming in at 22nd in the Majors with a 4.88 ERA, but have been able to rely on Jake Peavy and Sale fairly consistently since the beginning of 2012, which makes Sale's eight-run performance against the Indians on Saturday all the more strange.
"He's a good pitcher," manager Robin Ventura said. "His last outing wasn't very sharp, so I'm sure he is preparing right now to be ready to go because this is a good lineup."
Thursday will be Sale's first career start against the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays: Bautista still sidelined
Already without leadoff hitter Jose Reyes, the Blue Jays have also been down their three-hitter, Jose Bautista, for the last six games.
Bautista, who has three home runs in nine games, has added an ear infection to his injury report, but has been primarily held on the bench due to a lingering back soreness.
"We thought maybe he could be in there today, but it's still bothering him a little bit," manager John Gibbons said on Wednesday.
Rajai Davis started in right field on Wednesday and went 2-for-4 while hitting leadoff. Catcher J.P. Arencibia, who has four home runs on the year, hit third.
White Sox: Flowers strikes again
After starting the season with home runs in back-to-back games, catcher Tyler Flowers went nine homerless games before going deep on Wednesday.
Flowers entered the game in the midst of a 1-for-25 slump before going 2-for-4 with the homer, three RBIs and two runs scored.
Flowers said one of the biggest things he learned from former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was how to be consistent defensively while struggling at the plate.
"If he was going through a tough stretch or something, 0-for-20, not swinging the bat well, he was still in there doing everything he needs to do to catch the next day," Flowers said. "That says a lot about the player and where his head is at, and what his interests are. His best interests were for the team, not for himself."
• The White Sox recalled outfielder Jordan Danks from Triple-A Charlotte The 26-year-old, who was hitting .333 in the Minors, picked up a single in a pinch-hitting appearance on Wednesday. He'll likely be used primarily as a late-game replacement.
• White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez went 2-for-3 on Wednesday to raise his batting average to .327, but perhaps more impressive has been his strikeout-to-walk rate. After striking out 77 times and walking just 17 times last year, Ramirez walked again on Wednesday to give him four walks to five strikeouts this season.
• White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has been away from the team recovering from diverticulitis. Curt Hasler has been filling in.
• Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is 0-for-7 with four strikeouts since returning from a strained rib cage.