Toronto Blue Jays (71-67) at Tampa Bay Rays (67-73), 7:10 p.m. (ET)
09/03/2014 10:58 AM
09/04/2014 10:27 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays hope to stay in the playoff hunt and shoot for a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday at Tropicana Field.
The Blue Jays are 4 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot in the American League and made it four straight wins with Wednesday's 7-4 victory. Marcus Stroman held the Rays to a pair of runs in six innings for the win and Aaron Sanchez worked the ninth to post his second save.
Dioner Navarro and Edwin Encarnacion each hit a two-run homer for the Jays, who have won three in a row on the road.
"We have to get greedy and try to win another one tomorrow," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Another well-played game all the way around and that's the bottom line."
Toronto, which will visit Boston next for three games, hopes Mark Buehrle can fulfill Gibbons' wishes of a well-played game when he takes the mound Thursday. Buehrle is 11-9 with a 3.50 earned run average and is winless (0-2) in his past five starts.
Buehrle gave up four runs in six innings of last Friday's 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees and fell to 1-8 in his last nine decisions. The left-hander has a 6-4 record in 13 road starts and is 10-5 with a 4.19 ERA in 26 career meetings (21 starts) with the Rays. Buehrle has a 2-0 mark in four starts against Tampa Bay this season.
Tampa Bay lost for the seventh time in the last 10 games last night and fell to 2-4 on a 10-game homestand.
Chris Archer was hammered for six runs and 10 hits in six innings by the Jays on Wednesday, while Evan Longoria belted a two-run homer and finished with three RBI for the Rays. Longoria has 37 RBI and 11 multi-RBI games since the All-Star break.
"We came out flat. We rebounded, but there was too much of a deficit," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "They hit the ball well."
The Rays, who have lost 12 of 18 games since a 61-61 mark, will welcome Baltimore to the Trop next for three games.
Jake Odorizzi gets the call for Tampa Bay Thursday and is 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA. He ended a two-game slide in Saturday's 7-0 win over Boston and allowed only one hit through seven scoreless innings. He is 6-3 in his last nine starts.
Odorizzi has made 15 starts at the Trop this season, going 5-6 with a 2.92 ERA, and is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against Toronto.
The Blue Jays are 9-6 against Tampa Bay this season.
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