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Jenkins, Ortiz impressing in Blue Jays rotation

Jenkins, Ortiz impressing in Blue Jays rotation play video for Jenkins, Ortiz impressing in Blue Jays rotation

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' pitching rotation has been a bit of a mess lately.

With J.A. Happ and Josh Johnson injured and Ricky Romero unable to find the strike zone consistently, Toronto has turned to veteran Ramon Ortiz and youngster Chad Jenkins to take the reins temporarily.

"The guy that's pitching the best deserves to pitch," manager John Gibbons said.

Both pitchers were formidable last time out, enough so to keep them with the team at least until May 21. Ortiz managed to keep the Red Sox to only one earned run Friday, while Jenkins held Boston to two earned runs two days later.

Jenkins was particularly impressive for general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who said that Jenkins' outing Sunday was the best that he's ever seen him.

"Right now we need both of them," Gibbons said. "We're going to need two guys for next Monday and Tuesday, but then we'll see how everything plays out after that."

Toronto's manager has been happy with what he's seen from Wednesday's starter so far in his two outings with the club.

"One thing about Ortiz is he competes; he's been around. He knows what this level of baseball is all about," Gibbons said. "He relies on hitting his spots and getting a lot of ground balls like he did the other day. If he does that, he should be effective."

With it being over a week before Jenkins is next scheduled to start, either Monday or Tuesday at home vs. the Rays, he was available to pitch out of the bullpen Wednesday and possibly Friday and Saturday depending on how things go.

Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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