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Toronto Blue Jays (7-15) at Tampa Bay Devil Rays (8-13), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Tanyon Sturtze (2-1, 5.09)
Tampa Bay - Jorge Sosa (1-1, 3.60)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays shoot for their third straight
win this evening when they attempt a three-game sweep over the Toronto Blue
Jays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay has not swept a series since taking a
three-game set from Texas last Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
Marlon Anderson finished with two clutch RBI and scored the winning run in the
bottom of the eighth to lift Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory over Toronto in the
second game of the set on Wednesday.
Rocco Baldelli drove in the winning run and Terry Shumpert also finished with
an RBI for the Devil Rays, who won the first game of this series by a 4-3
margin on Tuesday night.
The win was the fifth time this season that the Devil Rays have come back to
win after trailing by at least three runs. Tampa has played a major league-
leading 10 one-run games this season and has won six of those contests.
Reliever Mike Venafro (1-0) struck out one in a perfect two-thirds of an
inning to pick up the win, and Lance Carter then retired two batters for his
third save of the season. Tampa Bay starter Victor Zambrano allowed two runs
in 5 1/3 innings.
Baldelli finished 2-for-4 to set a Tampa rookie record for most hits in any
month with 31. Bobby Smith had 30 during August of 1999. Since teams started
playing 162 games in a season the most hits in the month of April by a rookie
is 39, set in 2001 by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. Tampa has six games remaining
The 21-year-old centerfielder is hitting a team-leading .372 and has hit
safely in all but two of the D-Rays 21 games this season.
Despite pitching well for much of the game, Mark Hendrickson suffered the
loss. Hendrickson (1-3) allowed four runs on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings,
while striking out three and walking none.
Carlos Delgado, Tom Wilson and Josh Phelps each belted solo homers to account
for the Toronto runs. The Blue Jays have now lost six of their last seven and
their 7-15 start is their worst since 1979.
Jorge Sosa gets the call tonight for the Devil Rays and is 1-1 on the year
with a 3.60 ERA. The righthander struggled in the bullpen to start the season,
but has shined in a starter's role. Sosa has allowed just six hits over 9 1/3
innings in his two starts. In his last outing on Saturday the 25-year-old
hurler allowed just three hits over five scoreless innings in his team's 8-7
win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Sosa is 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA in four career appearance, including two starts,
Toronto will counter with former Devil Ray Tanyon Sturtze, who is off to a 2-1
5.09 ERA start after losing 18 games a year ago with Tampa. Sturtze, who spent
the last two-plus season with the D-Rays, won his first two starts of the
year, but has struggled in his last two appearances, allowing a combined 13
runs - 10 earned - and 10 hits over 9 1.3 innings. In his last start the
righthander surrendered seven runs - four earned - six hits and five walks
over 4 2/3 innings in a 7-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Sturtze lost his lone career outing against Tampa Bay, giving up one run and
one hit over two-thirds of an inning in a relief appearance.
The Blue Jays took 11 of the 19 meetings between the two teams last season,
but has dropped five of the last six overall matchups. The Devil Rays are
22-17 all-time in Tampa against Toronto. The 22 wins are the most against any
opponent at Tropicana.
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