American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, August 16th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (56-65) at Tampa Bay Rays (68-51), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - R.A. Dickey (9-11, 4.46)
Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (10-6, 4.93)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays try to make it three victories in a row
on Friday when they start a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at
Tampa put the brakes on a six-game losing streak by winning the final two of
their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners. On Thursday, Evan
Longoria's two-run homer in the fifth inning helped lift Tampa Bay to a 7-1
Wil Myers went 3-for-4 with four RBI while crossing the plate twice for the
Rays, who are two games back of the Boston Red Sox in the American League
Alex Cobb (7-2) tossed five innings in his first game back from the disabled
list. Cobb landed on the DL after being struck on his right ear by a line
drive in a game against Kansas City on June 15. The right-hander only gave up
one run on three hits while fanning six batters.
"It was awesome," Cobb said of returning to the mound. "It's a feeling you
can't duplicate anywhere else but being out on the mound and competing at the
big league level."
Getting the call for the Rays will be righty Jeremy Hellickson, who is 10-6
with a 4.93 ERA. Hellickson lost his third straight start on Sunday in Los
Angeles, as the Dodgers reached him for four runs and seven hits in only three
"Hopefully, I can figure it out (Friday)," Hellickson said. "I feel good. My
stuff feels good. I just have to throw more strikes and have better command.
If I'm able to do that, I'll be OK."
Hellickson beat the Jays the last time he faced them and is 5-2 lifetime
against them with a 2.74 ERA in 10 starts.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with the National League's reigning Cy Young
Award winner R.A. Dickey, who is 9-11 with a 4.46 ERA. Dickey did not get a
decision on Sunday against Oakland, as he surrendered three runs and six hits
in seven frames of his team's 6-4 loss.
Dickey has faced the Rays 11 times (7 starts) and is 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA
Toronto earned a series win over Boston on Thursday, as Mark Buehrle tossed
seven innings of one-run baseball and the Blue Jays scored twice in the
seventh inning to claim a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox.
Buehrle (9-7) gave up 10 hits while striking out four for the Blue Jays, who
have won two in a row since a three-game skid.
Tampa Bay is 8-5 against the Jays this season.
08/16 10:27:51 ET