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OAK@HOU: Griffin fans eight over 6 1/3

As the Blue Jays embark on a three-city, 10-game road trip, they will look to carry over the momentum they generated by taking three of four from the Houston Astros.

Toronto will begin its lengthy road trip with a three-game set against the first-place Oakland Athletics, who are a season-high 19 games over .500.

Right-hander Esmil Rogers, who has been a bit of a surprise this season, will take the mound for the Blue Jays on Monday. Rogers has allowed three runs or fewer in all but three of his 10 starts this season and is looking to build off an outing in which he was constantly pitching with runners on base.

"Maybe in my next start, I'll start in the stretch," Rogers joked after the outing.

While Rogers gets the start for Toronto, A.J. Griffin will take the ball for Oakland.

Griffin is 9-7 with a 3.84 ERA on the season, but he has had some trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark. The right-hander has allowed 23 home runs on the season, but the majority of them (17) have come on the road.

In his last start, Griffin allowed a pair of home runs, but he limited the Astros to just six hits and earned his ninth win of the season.

"Overall, I felt really good," Griffin said. "My lanes were really good to the plate with all my pitches. I felt like I was doing a good job of keeping my delivery the same for every pitch, keeping them off balance for the most part. That was the most locked in I've felt in a long time, probably all year."

The Athletics hope Griffin is locked in again on Monday as they look to build on their lead in the American League West.

Blue Jays: Oliver's time is running out
When Darren Oliver decided to come back for a final season, he had one goal in mind. The 42-year-old simply wanted to win a World Series.

However, the 2013 season has not gone the way Oliver, or anyone in the Blue Jays organization, had hoped and unless there is a trade, it appears a ring will elude Oliver one more time.

"I was thinking that we were going to win more games than we'd lost," Oliver said. "I just think that everybody expected more; obviously, we expected more from ourselves. We expected to be right there in the race at this point in the season, and we're not. I think the guys are definitely disappointed about that."

Oliver came close to winning a World Series as a member of the Texas Rangers in 2010 and '11.

Athletics: Offense scuffling
Although the A's have found ways to keep winning, their offense has not been thriving recently.

In the 15 games prior to Sunday, the Athletics were hitting just .197 and averaging 2.87 runs per game. Oakland broke out for 10 runs on 10 hits Sunday, and the team hopes that was not a one-time thing.

"That's just Oakland A's baseball," catcher Derek Norris said. "When our pitching was struggling at first, our offense was picking up on the slack. Now our offense has been struggling and the pitching is picking up the slack. I think that makes us a dangerous ballclub. You know there's going to be a time when both sides are going to click, and that's going to be scary for teams when they come in to face Oakland. That's what makes us a very good ballclub."

Worth noting
• Griffin has made two starts against the Blue Jays in his career and pitched a combined 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

• Rogers has never started a game against Oakland, but has pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Athletics.

• Josh Reddick has been struggling at the plate for the A's, but the outfielder has hit five career home runs against the Blue Jays. He has only hit more home runs against the Orioles and Mariners.

• Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the Blue Jays with 81 RBIs, is a career .265 hitter against the A's. Comments