Carlson arrives, splitters leave

TORONTO — Today marked the arrival of left-hander Jesse Carlson, who said he had tears when he heard he was going to The Show. Carlson joins a bullpen that’s been taxed and struggling of late, most noticeably in the ninth inning with closer Jeremy Accardo.

Accardo hasn’t been throwing his splitter as much early on this year, which isn’t good. Even Manager John Gibbons said Accardo needs to be using the pitch more to be effective. That was the pitch that essentially earned Accardo the closer’s job last year when B.J. Ryan got hurt. Basically, Accardo’s split hasn’t been reliable and he’s been forced to turn more to his slider and cutter.

Scott Rolen is due to start hitting off a tee tomorrow and Ryan and reliever Armando Benitez are heading to Triple-A Syracuse to continue their respective journeys to Toronto’s bullpen. Ryan could be back with the Jays by next homestand, but Benitez still needs a little more time before he’s an option.

Accardo isn’t available out of the ‘pen for tonight’s series finale, nor is Scott Downs. So if there’s a save situation, Gibbons said he’ll just go with the pitcher who has the most favorable matchups. Marco Scutaro was still at third base on Thursday night and Gibby said there was no thought to giving him a day off.

Today’s lineups:

OAKLAND (5-4) at TORONTO (4-4)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

ATHLETICS
Travis Buck, RF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Daric Barton, 1B
Mike Sweeney, DH
Jack Cust, LF
Bobby Crosby, SS
Jack Hannahan, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Ryan Sweeney, CF

PITCHING: LHP Dana Eveland

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Shannon Stewart, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Aaron Hill, 2B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Marco Scutaro, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Dustin McGowan

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