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Interleague Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, May 20th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Braves (25-16) at Tampa Bay Rays (25-16), 1:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Tim Hudson (2-1, 3.96) Tampa Bay - David Price (6-2, 3.10)

(Sports Network) - With both teams already capturing a win in this three-game set, each will have a chance at a series win when the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays square off at Tropicana Field.

After losing back-to-back games, including Friday's series opener in which their opponents scored five runs, the Tampa Bay Rays flipped the script on Saturday and downed the Braves 5-2.

Making his first start in the majors since last August, Alex Cobb looked as if he had been in the big leagues all season after pitching seven strong innings in which he allowed a pair of runs on six hits, which matched his number of strikeouts.

Cobb was called up on Friday after spending the beginning of the season with Triple-A Durham.

The Braves got out to a 2-0 lead after a two-run first inning in which Juan Francisco had an RBI single and Eric Hinske had an RBI sacrifice fly, but Cobb settled in from that point on.

"Cobb did a terrific job ... He kept us off-balance and did a nice job to get the game to their two guys in the bullpen," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said

Matt Joyce launched a grand slam for his only hit of the game an inning later and Sean Rodriguez added his fourth home run of the season as well as the Rays kept pace with the first-place Orioles in the AL East.

Randall Delgado managed to get through only four innings in taking the loss for Atlanta, giving up four runs despite allowing only three hits. Delgado was done in by his inability to consistently hit the strike zone as he threw only 43 of 84 pitches for strikes and walked five batters. Despite the loss the Braves still remain at the top of the NL East standings with a 1 1/2-game lead on Washington.

In the series finale the Rays will send out ace David Price to try to win a series of three games or more since a four-game sweep of Seattle in the beginning of the month.

Price didn't have his best stuff but had enough to win in his last start as he pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out six to earn his sixth win of the season as the Rays downed fellow AL East member Toronto on Tuesday.

The right-hander has had a strong season at 6-2 with an ERA of 3.10. He has allowed more than three runs in only one start this season and has gone at least seven innings in four of his eight total starts this year, including in each of the last three.

In his career Price is 5-4 with an ERA of 4.50 in interleague play, including a win in his only career start against Atlanta in which he allowed two earned runs over five innings of work.

Taking the mound for the Braves will be veteran Tim Hudson.

In his 14th season in the majors the 36-year-old has still proven to be an effective pitcher and at 2-1 with an ERA of 3.96 this season has continued to be a reliable pitcher for a talented Braves staff.

Hudson missed most of the first month of the season after having back surgery in the offseason has been particularly effective in his last two starts. During the pair of outings Hudson has pitched 14 innings, allowing three runs on 14 hits while striking out four batters.

Most recently he tossed seven innings and allowed two runs on nine hits in a 6-2 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Hudson, who spent the first six seasons of his career in the AL pitching for Oakland, has a stellar 7-1 record as well as a 2.71 ERA in 11 career starts against Tampa Bay that exceeds his 14-16 record and 4.08 ERA overall in interleague starts.

These teams squared off in an interleague series in Atlanta in 2010 when the Braves took two of three. In the last series in Tampa Bay the Braves yet again took two of three in 2006.

05/20 10:37:31 ET