Farmer takes on potent Blue Jays lineup

Farmer takes on potent Blue Jays lineup

Buck Farmer will take the mound at Rogers Centre on Friday night as the Tigers and Blue Jays open a three-game series.

On one hand, Farmer has posted the Tigers' top two single-start swinging-strike rates this season -- 21.4 percent on May 27 and 21.3 percent on June 28. On the other hand, his swinging-strike rate over two outings since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 26 is just 7 percent.

Farmer will need to miss some bats against a lineup that has been mashing the ball lately. Blue Jays hitters slugged nine home runs over four games from Saturday through Tuesday as they try to dig out of their offensive struggles; the club's .240 batting average on the season ranks at the bottom of the American League, while its .724 OPS is second to last.

The Blue Jays will counter with Marcus Stroman, who left his last outing in the second inning after he was hit on the right elbow by a line drive. Stroman maintained all along he would be ready for his next outing, but it wasn't confirmed by the club until he was evaluated on Thursday.

Stroman is 11-6 with a 3.08 ERA in 28 starts for the Blue Jays this season. He hasn't faced Detroit since he allowed two runs over nine innings during his rookie campaign in 2014.

"We haven't discussed that," acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. "It's possible that we could go with maybe Santos depending on how he feels or with the off-day [on Thursday], we can bump people up. That will be something we discuss after the situation with Stroman tomorrow."

Three things to know about this game

• Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said earlier in the week that he expects Nicholas Castellanos will get his first start in the outfield at some point on the six-game road trip, which begins in Toronto and runs through next week in Cleveland. It's uncertain whether Ausmus will put him in right field on the artificial surface of Rogers Centre.

• Roberto Osuna has blown six of his past 15 save chances. His 10 blown saves on the season lead the Majors.

• The Tigers will be without shortstop Jose Iglesias, who went on the paternity leave list to return to Miami for his birth of his son.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.