American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, May 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (24-19) at Tampa Bay Rays (25-18), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Drew Hutchison (3-1, 4.81)
Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (1-4, 5.20)
(Sports Network) - The Rays would love for 22-year-old Matt Moore to show
improvement for a second start in a row. A run similar to the one that the
Blue Jays' Drew Hutchison is on would do just fine.
The two youngsters square off this evening in the middle contest of a three-
game series between Toronto and Tampa Bay.
A projected Rookie of the Year candidate following his brief jump to the
majors last season, Moore is just 1-4 with a 5.20 earned run average through
eight starts and has lost three straight outings.
The left-hander did show improvement last week, however. After getting touched
for nine earned runs and seven walks over a combined nine innings of the first
two setbacks of the slide, Moore gave up three runs on five hits over six
innings against the Red Sox on Thursday. He struck out a season-high eight,
but was hurt by two homers.
"I thought he finished really strong. That's a good game to build off of,"
Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Moore, adding, "He definitely pitched well
enough to win."
Moore faces the Blue Jays for the first time.
Hutchison, who makes his first career appearance against the Rays, won at
Minnesota with six innings of one-run ball on May 12, earning his first
victory since April 21. He then made it consecutive winning starts on Thursday
when he held the Yankees to a run on five hits and four walks in six innings
of his second career quality start.
"I thought Hutch once again kept his composure," said Blue Jays manager John
Farrell after the 4-1 win. "A solid and well played game all around."
The 21-year-old righty moved to 3-1 with a 4.81 ERA in six starts.
The Blue Jays pulled to within a game of the Rays for second place in the
American League East -- and three back of the first-place Orioles -- by taking
last night's opener 6-2.
Yunel Escobar hit a solo homer, one of two times he crossed home plate, and
Colby Rasmus logged a pair of hits and scored two runs for Toronto, which has
won five of six and survived an outing from Doug Drabek in which he walked six
but held the damage to only two runs over six innings.
"There were timely hits," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Yunel's home
run was a big one. Colby swung the bat exceptionally well tonight."
Jeremy Hellickson took his first loss of the season, charged with five runs --
two earned -- on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. Sean Rodriguez had an RBI and
B.J. Upton was credited with a homer that was ruled to have hit one of the
catwalks on the Tropicana Field roof.
As the second batter in the bottom of the first, Upton's long drive to center
hit one of the crosswalks and dropped into the outfield. Upton originally
stopped at second, but after an umpire review he was the awarded the remaining
"I know the rules," Upton told Tampa Bay's official website. "I kind of tossed
my bat after I hit it because I figured it was an out. I came around first, I
looked up and the ball just kind of disappeared and I'd been following it in
the air. I knew right then that it hit the catwalk. When I got to second I
knew it was a home run."
Still, the Rays lost for the fourth time in five games.
The Rays had also won their last four encounters against the Blue Jays by a
32-10 score -- all in Toronto -- and have still taken 11 of the past 15
05/22 11:11:54 ET