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Blue Jays pin hopes on Buehrle at the Trop

(SportsNetwork.com) - Lefty Mark Buehrle begins his 15th big league season on Wednesday night when the Toronto Blue Jays return to Tropicana Field for game three of a four-game season-opening series with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now 35 years old, Buehrle will aim to match the performance of Toronto's Tuesday night starter, Drew Hutchison, who tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the Blue Jays' 4-2 defeat of the Rays in game two.

Hutchinson (1-0) allowed three hits and three walks while fanning four to earn his first win since June 15, 2012. He'd missed the last 18 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Buehrle was 12-10 in 33 starts with the Blue Jays last season, his first with the team after a 12-player trade sent him to Toronto following his one season with the Miami Marlins.

He's 8-5 in 22 career meetings with Tampa Bay, including 6-3 in 11 appearances at Tropicana Field.

In 59 career innings in the building, he's allowed 80 hits and 37 runs while batters have hit .331 against him.

He's faced by Tampa Bay's 24-year-old lefty, Matt Moore, who's coming off a 17-win season in his second full tour of the major leagues.

The Rays drafted Moore in the eighth round of 2007 and he reached the majors briefly in 2011 before sticking around in 2012 and winning 11 of 22 decisions across 31 starts.

He burst out last year as the team's winningest pitcher while posting a 3.29 ERA across 150 innings.

Moore is 4-1 in seven career meetings with Toronto.

On Tuesday, Adam Lind hit a three-run homer and Jonathan Diaz drove in the other run for the Blue Jays, who bounced back from a 9-2 loss on Opening Day.

Sergio Santos allowed a run in the ninth inning, but stranded runners on second and third to earn his first save of the season.

Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings finished with one RBI apiece for the Rays, who went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Alex Cobb (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over five innings to absorb the loss.

Tampa won 11 of its 19 matchups with the Blue Jays last season. In fact, Toronto hasn't won a series at Tropicana Field since April 6-8, 2007, with Tampa Bay going 19-0-1 in series play since then.

The Rays' 148 wins over the Jays and their 84 wins at Tropicana Field are their most against any opponent.

04/02 10:46:48 ET

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