Blue Jays series preview: Can Toronto answer the pitching of the Rays?
Apr 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits a double to drive in a run against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays have seen their pendulum swing wildly in both directions early in 2015, but a series sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at home saw them find their level. Toronto outscored the Orioles 24-14 as the offensive output continued to come from the darkest corners of their lineup, and the club will be seeking revenge against the Tampa Bay Rays beginning Friday.
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Tampa recently took three of four games against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre from April 13th-16th, where Toronto was held to two runs or less three seperate times. The Rays’ young starting pitching came to the forefront as the Blue Jays struggled to get a dominant performance of their own, but on the heels of a fantastic outing from Drew Hutchison, change could be coming.
Toronto now sits at 9-7 in a three-way tie for the AL East lead with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, while the Rays trail close behind at 8-8. The Blue Jays are taking a heavy dose of divisional games off the top of their schedule, which is something we’ll be forced to look back on come September, for better or for worse.
R.A. Dickey takes the ball in game one as Drew Smyly makes his season debut. He’ll be followed by the struggling Daniel Norris and the 3-0 Mark Buehrle as the Jays look to scrape two wins out of this series, and head to Boston with an 11-8 record.
Next: Opponent outlook: Tampa Bay Rays