Estrada on target for Sunday start vs. Boston

Estrada on target for Sunday start vs. Boston

ST. PETERSBURG -- Marco Estrada made his final appearance in a Minor League game on Monday afternoon and is on schedule to make his first start for the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox.

Estrada tossed five innings in an intrasquad game and allowed one run on three hits while getting his pitch count up to 88. He is beginning the season a week late because of soreness in his back, which kept him out of action for most of Spring Training.

"This was it for him," manager John Gibbons said. "He'll make that Sunday start in Toronto. We just wanted to give him one more [since] he had a late start."

Toronto is going with a four-man rotation to start the season until Estrada officially joins the ballclub on Sunday. An off-day on Thursday means that he and R.A. Dickey will be able to start against the Red Sox on Friday and Saturday on normal rest.

Estrada signed a two-year contract worth $26 million this offseason after a career season that saw him go 13-8 with a 3.13 ERA in 34 appearances. He tossed a career-high 181 innings during the regular season and then proceeded to make three quality starts in the postseason.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.