American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, August 9th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (53-57) at Tampa Bay Rays (58-52), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Henderson Alvarez (7-8, 4.47) Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (8-7, 3.84)
(Sports Network) - Matt Moore tries to extend his scoreless innings streak on Thursday when the Tampa Bay Rays go for a sweep in the finale of their three- game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.
Moore has not allowed a run in either of his last two starts and hasn't surrendered one in his previous 17 2/3 frames. He was terrific against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, scattering six hits over 5 1/3 scoreless frames. He also struck out six and walked three, as he ran his record to 8-7 to go along with a 3.84 ERA.
"I felt like I had a runner on every inning," Moore said. "There wasn't really a rhythm to the game. It was just plugging away, trying to get them one out at a time."
Since June 1, the 23-year-old lefty is 7-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts.
Moore did not get a decision against the Blue Jays earlier in the season, as he allowed four runs (2 earned) and three hits with four walks in only 4 2/3 innings.
Toronto will rely on righty Henderson Alvarez, who is 7-8 on the year with a 4.47 ERA. Alvarez had a modest two-start winning streak stopped last Thursday in Oakland, as he allowed three runs and four hits with five walks in five innings.
Alvarez lost to the Rays the last time he faced them and is 0-3 in three starts against them with a 5.68 ERA.
Tampa secured a series win on Wednesday, as Alex Cobb went seven innings, B.J. Upton hit an RBI double, and the Rays defeated the Blue Jays, 3-2.
Evan Longoria, in his second game back from a prolonged absence, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Still, Tampa Bay improved to 17-8 with Longoria in the lineup this season, compared to 41-44 without the three-time All-Star.
Cobb (6-8) allowed one run on five hits, did not issue a walk and struck out seven.
Fernando Rodney entered the ninth with a 22-inning scoreless streak -- a club record for a reliever -- but surrendered a one-out solo homer to David Cooper. The righty then retired two straight batters to secure his 34th save of the year.
The Rays have won nine of 14 overall.
Carlos Villanueva (6-2) took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
Edwin Encarnacion had a third-inning sacrifice fly for the Blue Jays, losers in eight of their last 10 games. They have dropped 16 consecutive away series against the Rays.
Tampa Bay traditionally dominates Toronto in Central Florida and has won 16 consecutive home series against the Blue Jays, including taking two of three from them in late May.
08/09 10:31:17 ET