Rays at Blue Jays
The Tampa Bay Rays are playing a lot of close games as they get set to visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday for the opener of their three-game series. The Rays have been involved in six straight one-run contests, with Thursday's 5-4 victory over Baltimore representing just their second win during the stretch.
Tampa Bay has played in a major league-high 49 one-run games but are just 22-27 in those affairs. The Rays also struggle on the road, where they are 24-33, and Friday's contest is the opener of a nine-game trek that includes series with the New York Yankees Boston. Toronto recorded an 8-5 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday to halt its three-game losing streak. Randal Grichuk homered and recorded three RBIs for the second straight game while Teoscar Hernandez launched his 18th blast to tie Justin Smoak for the team lead.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), Sportsnet (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Blake Snell (12-5, 2.27 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marco Estrada (5-8, 4.65)
Snell is making his second start since a stint on the disabled list due to shoulder fatigue and will be limited to 75 pitches. The 25-year-old All-Star pitched four innings in his return on August 4, when he gave up one run and three hits in a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox. Snell is 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in five career outings versus the Blue Jays.
Estrada is coming off a stellar performance as he gave up one run and one hit over seven innings while defeating Seattle. The 35-year-old is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA in nine home starts this season. Estrada is just 1-8 with a 4.54 ERA in 15 career appearances (11 starts) against Tampa Bay and was unable to notch a win on May 6 despite scattering four hits over six scoreless frames.
1. The Rays have won five of this season's six meetings with the Blue Jays.
2. Tampa Bay INF Jake Bauers drove in three runs on Thursday to finish with five RBIs in the three-game series against Baltimore.
3. Toronto recalled LHP Thomas Pannone from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned RHP Mike Hauschild to the same affiliate.