Toronto going with top 3 starters vs. Red Sox

Estrada, Happ and Sanchez will each get a turn, with Dickey pushed back

Toronto going with top 3 starters vs. Red Sox

NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays have set their rotation for a pivotal upcoming series vs. the Red Sox, and the club will go with its big three of Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez. Toronto is tied with Boston for first place in the American League East after losing, 7-6, to the Yankees on Tuesday.

The decision means that veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will have his next outing pushed back by at least a couple days. He would have been in line to start Sunday's series finale against Boston, but that outing will instead go to Sanchez.

Toronto has an off-day on Thursday, which means that Sanchez will make the outing on normal rest. The club likely still needs to skip at least one of his starts down the stretch because of an innings limit, but that could happen during an upcoming West Coast road trip through Seattle and Anaheim from Sept. 15-21. Dickey allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his five August starts, but he surrendered five over four innings vs. the Yankees on Monday. The 41-year-old is 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in four starts against Boston this season.

Liriano feeling better

Left-hander Francisco Liriano was feeling better on Tuesday afternoon after he left a relief appearance vs. New York the day before because of tightness in his lower back. Liriano felt the soreness surface because he is still adjusting to the routine of a reliever after he was temporarily moved to the bullpen last week.

Liriano is expected to start again this season -- possibly during the upcoming West Coast road trip -- but for now he will remain in the 'pen. He will take the next couple of days off but will likely be available in relief during this weekend's series against the Red Sox.

The 32-year-old looked much better on Monday than he did during last week's relief appearance vs. the Rays, which was his first time pitching out of the bullpen since 2012. Liriano tossed two scoreless innings against the Yankees and allowed just one hit while striking out three.

"He feels better today, which is good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He looked great yesterday. [The injury] kind of caught us off-guard, we weren't aware of it, but hopefully that's behind him.

"We haven't eliminated him from the rotation, it was just kind of the way things were stacking up, who we were going to pitch. Figured keep him active in the 'pen, and the thought is maybe he can be tough on those lefties. But he can be tough on the righties, too, when everything is working."

Loup and Schultz officially rejoin squad

The Blue Jays recalled relievers Aaron Loup and Bo Schultz prior to Tuesday night's game vs. the Yankees. The planned move had been revealed by Gibbons on Monday but didn't become official until the following day.

The two pitchers are the final September callups the Blue Jays will make this season, barring a series of major injuries. Toronto currently has 12 relievers, which includes four lefties.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. 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.