American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 26th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (38-38) at Tampa Bay Rays (41-37), 12:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - R.A. Dickey (6-8, 5.15)
Tampa Bay - Roberto Hernandez (4-8, 5.14)
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays will receive a boost when shortstop
Jose Reyes returns to action just in time for Wednesday's finale of a three-
game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Reyes had been on the disabled list since April because of a sprained left
ankle and was injured April 12 in an 8-4 win at Kansas City. The speedy Reyes,
who was acquired from the Miami Marlins this past offseason, went down after
sliding into second base and his ankle rolled underneath him.
The 11-year veteran is batting .395 with one homer, five RBI and five steals
over 10 games this season, and was activated off the 60-day DL following
Tuesday's 5-1 loss. The former All-Star finished his rehab 12-for-29 with a
double and six runs scored in seven games for Class A Dunedin and the club's
Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.
"I'm very excited about it, because it was two months that I couldn't do what
I love to do," Reyes told the club's website. "Now I know I'll be on the field
again, around my teammates. The way the team is playing, I want to be a part
of the exciting thing that's happening right now."
Reyes, who is expected to resume his familiar role at the top of the order,
said he felt "very comfortable" in all four games at the Triple-A level and
performed the way he would in the majors by stealing bases and turning double
plays. Toronto hopes Reyes' return can help the team avoid being swept in
three games at the Trop.
The Jays have dropped two in a row since their season-best 11-game winning
streak and have scored a total of two runs in the last two games. In Tuesday's
loss, Maicer Izturis drove in the lone run and starting pitcher Mark Buehrle
dropped below .500 at 4-5 after he gave up four runs and eight hits in five
innings of work. Buehrle walked four batters and fanned two.
"Up in the zone a lot, fell behind guys -- not getting strike one, you're
going to be in trouble all night long," Buehrle said. "I made a few pitches
when I needed to and they put the ball in play. That's why this game is
"You're missing your spots and you make a good pitch and they put the ball in
play. Whether it's a broken-bat base hit or finding a hole."
Toronto will visit Boston next for four games and hopes R.A. Dickey can
salvage this set against the Rays. Dickey did not record a decision his
previous time out in a 7-6 win over Baltimore last Friday and gave up six runs
in six innings. He is 2-1 in his last three decisions and 6-8 in 16 starts to
go along with a 5.15 earned run average.
The knuckleballer defeated the Rays on May 20 and is 2-2 with a 4.57 ERA in
nine career games (5 starts) against them.
Tampa Bay received a lights-out performance from starter Matt Moore on Tuesday
and he pushed his record to 10-3 by holding the Blue Jays to a run and four
hits in six innings with 11 strikeouts. Despite walking six batters, Moore and
the bullpen were able to hold down the club's third straight win and fifth in
"It was bend but don't break," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Moore. "He was
obviously off in the beginning and missing by a lot. All of a sudden, he found
it. ... That's the beautiful thing about him. He has the stuff to pitch
through those wild moments."
Jake McGee, Kyle Farnsworth and Jamey Wright each threw a scoreless inning of
relief, while Yunel Escobar and James Loney finished with three hits and a run
scored apiece. Desmond Jennings went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in
the win and Wil Myers posted his sixth RBI in the past four games. Myers is
riding an eight-game hitting streak.
The Rays, who will welcome Detroit to the Trop for three games later this
week, are slated to send Roberto Hernandez to the mound Wednesday. Hernandez
has lost two straight, three of four and four of his last six starts,
including last Friday's 6-2 setback at Yankee Stadium.
Hernandez gave up nine hits and five runs in seven innings, falling to 4-8 in
14 starts with a 5.14 ERA. The right-hander has permitted 16 runs in the
previous four starts and is 3-1 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career starts against
the Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay is 5-4 against Toronto this season.
06/26 10:25:20 ET