American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 28th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (23-30) at Toronto Blue Jays (31-22), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (3-2, 4.11)
Toronto - Liam Hendriks (1-0, 1.59)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Having already locked up their fifth consecutive series
victory, the Toronto Blue Jays will try to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays for the
first time since 2010 as the clubs conclude a three-game set o Wednesday
The Blue Jays have slugged their way to a pair of victories to open this set,
pushing their winning streak to an impressive eight straight games. Tuesday's
9-6 win gave Toronto a fifth straight series victory for the first time since
Sept. 17-Oct. 3, 2010 and put the club in position to sweep Tampa Bay in a
three-game set for the first time since Aug. 6-8, 2010 in Toronto.
Toronto has homered in 10 straight games, with Edwin Encarnacion a big part of
that surge. He went deep in last night's win to match a club record for the
most homers in a month with 14. That equaled Jose Bautista's mark set in June
Juan Francisco and Adam Lind also homered, while Bautista went 3-for-4 with an
RBI in Toronto's 13th win in 15 games.
"Everybody's having fun," Encarnacion said. "You can see it on their faces.
We're playing great baseball."
That also holds true for starter Mark Buehrle, who picked up his Major League-
leading ninth win of the season last night. He gave up four runs -- three
earned -- over 6 2/3 innings.
Sean Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with three RBI and Wil Myers knocked in two runs
for the Rays, who had won four in a row prior to this series.
Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb came into Tuesday's start with a 21 2/2 scoreless-
innings streak. He stretched that to a club-record 24 2/3 straight frames
before the Blue Jays finally got to him for a total of six runs over his five-
"He was really good, moving along really nicely and all of a sudden they
struck," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Cobb.
Now it will be Chris Archer's turn to try and tame the Blue Jays' offense and
he comes in having not allowed a run in his past two outings.
Archer hurled 5 2/3 frames of two-hit ball in a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles
Angels on May 16, then did not factor into Friday's decision versus Boston
despite six scoreless innings. Archer scattered four hits and five walks while
matching a career high with 11 strikeouts and throwing a personal high 119
Walks have been a concern for the right-hander as he has issued 19 free passes
over his last five outings, but still comes in 3-2 on the year with a 4.11
earned run average.
Archer, 25, is 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA in four previous meetings with the Blue
Jays, beating them on April 3 after giving up two runs over six frames with
The Blue Jays counter with Liam Hendriks, who made his Toronto and season
debut with a 3-2 win over Oakland on Friday. The righty yielded one run on
three hits and three walks, also fanning three in 5 2/3 frames.
"I was given opportunities in Minnesota and I didn't capitalize on them," said
the 25-year-old Hendriks, who played for the Twins from 2011-2013. "Now I've
got a different mindset coming into the season of just getting ready, getting
aggressive and getting after guys early.
"I think it's paid dividends so far and hopefully I can continue this trend
and stay up here all year."
Hendriks, who was 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA in nine games this year with Triple-A
Buffalo before getting recalled, faced the Rays once before while with the
Twins and did not get a decision, allowing four runs over 5 2/3 frames in the
05/28 10:39:50 ET
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