American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 21st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (23-21) at Toronto Blue Jays (18-26), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (4-2, 2.89) Toronto - Ramon Ortiz (1-1, 2.35)
(Sports Network) - Ramon Ortiz has been a pleasant surprise for the Toronto Blue Jays. The journeyman right-hander tries to put back-to-back wins together on Tuesday when the Jays continue a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre.
Ortiz opened the year at Triple-A Buffalo, but has been terrific since being recalled, as he has allowed just two runs on 10 hits in 12 innings, while posting a 1-1 mark.
The 39-year-old righty picked up his first win since 2011 on Wednesday against San Francisco, limiting the world champs to just a run and six hits in seven innings.
The last time Ortiz pitched that deep in a major league game was as a member of the Twins on April 22, 2007, vs. the Royals.
"The key right now is I have a lot of confidence in all my pitches, in my changeup, my slider, my two-seam, my four-seam," said Ortiz, who picked up his first win as a starter since April 17, 2007. "When you have confidence in your pitches, you can throw it in any count. And that's what I'm doing right now."
Ortiz has faced the Rays 11 times and is 6-2 against them with a 4.10 ERA.
Tampa Bay will counter with righty Alex Cobb, who is 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA. Cobb did not get a decision on Thursday against Boston, but pitched well, as he surrendered a run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings of 4-3 loss.
Cobb beat the Blue Jays the only other time he faced them, as he gave up a run in seven innings of that one.
Toronto continued to stay on the winning track on Monday, as Edwin Encarnacion's bases-clearing double in the seventh inning lifted the Blue Jays to a 7-5 win.
R.A. Dickey (4-5) surrendered three runs -- two earned -- over his first three innings, but settled down and didn't allow another run over his last five frames. He struck out five in all and gave up four hits and four walks in the win.
"He was on a nice little roll," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "If you look at the way he's pitched, he usually gets a little stronger as the game goes on. He finds that groove."
Melky Cabrera added an RBI double among his two hits for Toronto, which has won five of its last seven tilts.
Evan Longoria tallied two hits, two RBI and a run scored, while Yunel Escobar smacked a two-run homer for the Rays, who had won nine of their last 11 contests.
Jake Odorizzi, who was acquired from Kansas City in the deal that sent James Shields to the Royals, started in place of the injured David Price and fanned six, but allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over five innings.
"I saw the typical good composure, some nice stuff," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Despite Monday's loss, Tampa has won 12 of 18 north of the border. The Rays, though, split a four-game series with the Jays at home earlier in the month.
05/21 10:32:27 ET