Blue Jays series preview vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Apr 8, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Joe Biagini (31) and catcher Russell Martin (55) talk during the eighth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Joe Biagini (31) and catcher Russell Martin (55) talk during the eighth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are still looking for their first series win, and have yet to win consecutive games so far this season.

The nightmare of a season continues for the Toronto Blue Jays. They head home to the Rogers Centre for a quick weekend match-up against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Toronto (6-16) wrapped up a seven-game road trip. The Blue Jays pushed out a 3-4 record in games against the Los Angeles Angels and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Tampa Bay (11-12) won the first series between the clubs 3-1 earlier this April. The Rays come north of the border sitting in fourth in the American League East.

What You Need To Know

TV: Sportsnet One (Friday and Sunday), Sportsnet (Saturday)

Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN

Probable Starters

Friday, April 28 7:07 p.m. ET

RHP Marcus Stroman (2-2 3.10 ERA) vs. LHP Blake Snell (0-2 3.38 ERA)

Saturday, April 29 1:07 p.m. ET

LHP Francisco Liriano (1-2 4.58 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Andriese (1-0 3.86 ERA)

Sunday, April 30 1:07 p.m. ET (Marcus Stroman replica jersey giveaway for first 20,000 fans)

RHP Marco Estrada (0-1 2.70 ERA) OR RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1 4.38 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Archer (2-1 3.94 ERA)

Marcus Stroman is 4-4 with a 4.41 ERA in eight career starts against Tampa Bay. Stroman’s lone win came against the Rays on April 6. He also pitched a complete game in two of his three past starts. A loss against the Milwaukee Brewers and a win against the Angels.

Blake Snell is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA in three career starts against Toronto. He has pitched five innings or less in three straight starts and seven of his last eight.

Francisco Liriano has turned things around after a rough season debut- he didn’t event last an inning against the Rays on April 7. The lefty has allowed two runs or less in each of his three straight starts, with 18 strikeouts to go with that.

Matt Andriese was in line for his second victory on Sunday before Alex Colome allowed an unearned run in the ninth- costing Andriese the win. Six of his 10 runs allowed have been home runs this season.

There could be good news for the Blue Jays in regards to Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez is expected to start on Sunday and be activated from the DL. The 24-year old will have a throwing session on Friday and if things go as planned, Marco Estrada will have his start bumped to Monday night against the New York Yankees.

Chris Archer surrendered three home runs in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. Archer pitched well against the Blue Jays in his lone start against them. He allowed two runs on five hits.

Players To Watch 

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Right fielders Steven Souza and Jose Bautista have had opposite starts to the season.

Souza leads the Rays with 14 runs, 29 hits, 17 RBI in 23 games. Bautista, on the other hand, is hitting .163 (13-for-80) with one home run, five RBI, and 10 runs. His bat warmed up a little yesterday as the 36-year old went 2-for-4 in the matinee game.

A pair of infielders is currently riding hitting streaks. For the Rays, Tim Beckham is on a seven-game hitting streak. Beckham is 11-for-27 with a batting average of .407 in those games. On the other end, Ryan Goins is on a five-game hitting streak. Go-Go is 6-for-23 with a batting average of .261 in those five games.

Player Injuries

Toronto

3B Josh Donaldson (10-day DL strained right calf)

LHP J.A. Happ (10-day DL left elbow inflammation)

OF Dalton Pompey (60-day DL concussion)

RHP Aaron Sanchez (10-day DL right middle finger blister)

RHP Bo Schultz (60-day DL torn right UCL- out for season)

RHP Glenn Sparkman (60-day DL fractured right thumb)

SS Troy Tulowitzki (10-day DL strained right hamstring)

Tampa Bay 

RHP Brad Boxberger (60-day DL lat strain)

LHP Xavier Cedeno (10-day DL left forearm tightness)

3B Matt Duffy (10-day DL recovery from left Achilles surgery)

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (60-day DL right elbow surgery recovery)

RHP Kevin Gadea (60-day DL right elbow tendinitis)

RHP Tommy Hunter (10-day DL right calf strain)

RHP Jake Odorizzi (10-day DL strained left hamstring)

CF Mallex Smith (10-day DL strained right hamstring)

C Wilson Ramos (60-day DL right knee surgery recovery)

LF Colby Rasmus (10-day DL hip surgery recovery)

RHP Shawn Tolleson (60-day DL right flexor strain)

Next: Blue Jays should cut ties with Salty and promote Ohlman

The Rays lead the all-time contest 179-158. The Blue Jays will finish up the quick home-stand on Sunday. They’ll begin another road trip where they’ll play the Yankees and the Rays once again next weekend.

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