Blue Jays hope to start roll against Rays

The Sports Network
5/6/2013 10:53:49 AM
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(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays try to string back-to-back wins together on Monday when they begin a four-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday, as Mark DeRosa went 3- for-5 with a three-run homer and Brandon Morrow lasted eight strong innings in a 10-2 triumph over Seattle at Rogers Centre.

DeRosa added two doubles and scored three runs, Melky Cabrera had three hits and two RBI -- including his first home run of the season -- and Munenori Kawasaki had two hits and drove in two runs in the much-needed victory.

"It's not like we're just waiting to get on a roll," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We needed a win and they're hard to come by."

Morrow (1-2) allowed just three hits and two runs and struck out eight despite issuing five walks for the Blue Jays, who won for only the second time in their last 10 tries.

Hoping for that same type of support on Monday will be lefty Mark Buehrle, who is 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA. Buehrle lost his second straight start on Wednesday against Boston, as he was roughed up for five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Buehrle, though, is 8-3 lifetime versus the Rays with a 4.19 ERA in 18 games (13 starts).

Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jeremy Hellickson, who is 1-2, with a 4.71 ERA. Hellickson did not get a decision his last time out on Wednesday in Kansas City, as he surrendered four runs and nine hits in five innings of his team's 9-8 loss.

Tampa has lost in four of the last five times he has taken the hill.

"I haven't been as consistent as I want," Hellickson said. "There was a three- game stretch there where I felt as good as I ever have, and then those last two games have been awful, pretty terrible."

Hellickson has faced the Blue Jays six times and is 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA.

Tampa enters this set on the heels of a series win in Colorado. In Sunday's rubber match at Coors Field, Ryan Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Jose Lobaton drove two runs apiece to help the Rays get past the Rockies, 8-3.

Rays starter Alex Cobb (4-2) fanned six and gave up three runs -- all on solo homers -- on eight hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings.

"We're playing right on that cusp, that verge of getting over the top and playing like we're capable of playing," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Tampa dominated its season series with the Jays a year ago, taking 14 of the 18 matchups.

Mark Buehrle (Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)


(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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