Copeland to get another shot at rotation

Copeland to get another shot at rotation

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Scott Copeland struggled to keep the ball down in the zone in a 3-2 loss to the Mets on Tuesday night, but it appears as though he's going to get another shot in the rotation.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

Copeland made his second big league start as a fill-in for right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lat. Copeland's first outing was almost flawless, but the same couldn't be said about the second, in which there was a lot of hard contact even if there weren't necessarily a lot of runs.

The Blue Jays have a few options they could look at as temporary replacements for Sanchez, but manager John Gibbons made it sound as though Copeland will receive another opportunity on Sunday against the Orioles.

"I don't think it's fair to the kid, after two outings, to make a judgment on him," Gibbons said. "He was really good in that first one, tonight the ball was up a little bit, but that happens to them all every now and then. But he's competing and that's what we want out of them. I think he'll be fine his next go-round."

Copeland pitched a relatively clean first inning against the Mets, but he ran into some trouble in the second. He allowed three consecutive hits to open the frame; one run scored and another came around on a double by New York starter Matt Harvey.

It was more of the same in the third, when two hard-hit singles were followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Wilmer Flores. The consolation was that Copeland battled back with a three-up-three-down fourth inning before being pulled in the top of the fifth for pinch-hitter Justin Smoak.

Copeland was charged with all three runs on eight hits while striking out one over four innings. It was a pretty stark contrast to his outing against the Marlins, in which he allowed just one run over seven strong innings, but the overall body of work will give him at least one more chance to stick around.

"Probably a little bit, just have to get down through the ball," Copeland said when asked if there was a little too much adrenaline going into this game. "Kind of pulling off a little bit, just have to stay through it more. Just have to stay focused and go get them."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.