Series Preview: Blue Jays and Rays meet again

Apr 30, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (29) turns a double play against Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison (7) in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (29) turns a double play against Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison (7) in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /
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It’s the third time in a span of over a month that these two division rivals will meet once again. Tampa Bay has the edge over Toronto, leading the season series 4-3.

After a much needed day off, the Toronto Blue Jays (9-19) will head to Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Rays (14-15). It’s the last stop on the road trip for the Blue Jays.

Toronto will look to brush off the unfortunate series of events in the Bronx as this will be the last time these two teams play each other until June 13th back at the Rogers Centre. Last weekend, the Blue Jays won the series that was highlighted by Jose Bautista’s 1000th hit and a hand injury to Steven Souza.

What You Need To Know

TV: Sportsnet One (Friday, Sunday) Sportsnet (Satruday)

Radio: Sportsnet 590 The Fan

Probable Starters

Friday, May 5 7:07 p.m. ET

LHP Francisco Liriano (2-2 3.97 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Archer (2-1 3.43 ERA)

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Liriano will look to make amends on Friday when he returns to Tropicana Field, which was the scene for one of his worst starts of his career.

The lefty finished the month of April on a strong note. He holds a 2.01 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings over his past four starts.

Meanwhile, Archer came away with a brutal no-decision against the very same Blue Jays from last weekend.  The right-hander potentially threw at Bautista, but he’s 18-26 with a 3.22 ERA in 66 career home starts.

Saturday, May 6 4:10 p.m. ET

RHP Marco Estrada (1-1 2.43 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-1 3.50 ERA)

Estrada will look to build off his excellent start against the New York Yankees on Monday night. He has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his six starts. Estrada allowed five runs on seven hits at Tropicana Field on April 9.

Odorizzi is making his second start after returning from the DL on Monday. The righty held the Miami Marlins to one earned run on two hits. He is 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 12 career starts against the Blue Jays.

Sunday, May 7 1:10 p.m. ET

Mat Latos (0-1 6.60 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (2-2 3.86 ERA)

Latos will likely get the ball for the Blue Jays on Sunday’s matinee finale. The 29-year old did not have a memorable performance in the Bronx where he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in four innings pitched.

On the other hand, Cobb had his best outing of the season on Tuesday in Miami. He held the Marlins to zero runs on four hits in six innings pitched. He is 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in six career starts against the Blue Jays.

Players To Watch

Steve Pearce finally found life in his bat. Pearce had a breakout series where he went 5-for-7 with three home runs and six RBI in two games in New York.

Bautista and Archer exchanged glares in Toronto last weekend, after Archer threw a fastball that went behind the Blue Jays’ slugger. Both benches were warned, so it’s likely that nothing will really escalate to something worse.

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)

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

RF Steven Souza (Day-to-day left-hand contusion)

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

Next: Blue Jays' walk-up music: Part 1- The Batters

Toronto will wrap up the road trip on Sunday then head home to the Rogers Centre for a nine-game homestand.

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