American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, September 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (72-61) at Toronto Blue Jays (60-72), 1:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - David Price (16-5, 2.53)
Toronto - Ricky Romero (8-12, 5.50)
(Sports Network) - Tampa Bay's David Price tries to bounce back from a rare
bad performance on Sunday when the Rays wrap up a four-game set with the
Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Price absorbed the loss on Monday in Texas, as the Rangers ripped him for six
runs and 10 hits in only four innings, denying him the chance to be the
American League's first 17-game winner. Price slipped to 16-5 on the year to
go along with a 2.53 ERA.
"They started hitting balls over the fence and driving balls into the gap,"
Price said. "That's what changed. I've had a lot of hard-hit balls the last
month and a half and they go right at guys. Tonight that wasn't the case. I
felt like every ball they put in play and was going to get down or find a
hole. They hit a lot of balls hard."
Price, who had been 8-0 with a 1.56 ERA in his previous 12 starts, stands a
good chance of getting back into the win column in the finale, as he has
already beaten the Jays twice this season and is 11-2 with a 2.26 ERA in 14
starts against them.
Also working in Price's favor is that the pitcher he will be going up against,
lefty Ricky Romero, hasn't won since beating the Miami Marlins back on June
22, and owns a 7.16 ERA over that span.
Romero, an All-Star last season, has lost his last four starts and his last 11
decisions, with his previous win against an American League team coming
against Chicago back on June 5. The 11-game losing streak is now a single-
season franchise record and the longest in the AL this year.
He pitched well enough to get the win on Tuesday in New York, allowing two
runs and five hits in seven innings, but the Jays only managed to push one
"I felt aggressive, I definitely did," Romero said. "I felt like I was out
there and I put everything away that I've worked on, and let it come
naturally. That's what I did."
In Romero's past 10 starts, Toronto has managed to score a total of 17 runs --
including four consecutive shutouts from July 7-25.
Romero is 6-4 lifetime versus the Rays with a 3.49 ERA in 12 starts.
Tampa won for only the second time in eight tries on Saturday, as Matt Joyce's
eighth-inning homer was the deciding run, and B.J. Upton threw out Omar
Vizquel at the plate to end the game in the Rays' 5-4 victory.
Joyce finished with two hits and three RBI for the Rays, while Ryan Roberts
also homered for the victors.
Wade Davis (2-0) picked up the win after 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Activated from the 60-day disabled list prior to the game, starter Jeff
Niemann didn't make it through the fourth inning. He allowed one hit and
fanned four over 3 1/3 innings before departing with tightness in his right
"I wasn't able to throw with any kind of comfort," Niemann said. "Since it was
my first start back, I thought I would just take a precautionary view. We'll
see how it feels tomorrow."
Fernando Rodney earned his 40th save by recording the final five outs of the
contest, helped by Upton's toss home to Jose Molina on a single from Colby
"I knew I had a pretty good line on the throw," Upton admitted. "I was hoping
it wasn't too high. Luckily it wasn't. He got it while it was up a little
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer and Adam Lind also drove in two for the
Jays, whose three-game win streak came to an end.
Henderson Alvarez (7-12) was charged in the loss for five hits and four runs
with four walks in five full frames.
The Blue Jays are 4-10 against Tampa Bay this season.
09/02 10:30:38 ET