stats-recaps1
Major League Baseball
Preview
Toronto at Tampa Bay
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays need to make up ground in a hurry if either club aspires to punch its postseason ticket via the wild card. The American League East rivals look to aid in that quest at the other's expense on Tuesday when they conclude their season series with the opener of a three-game set in Tampa Bay.

The Rays, who reside four games out of the second wild-card spot, hardly looked like a playoff team with losses in eight of nine before posting a 3-0 victory over Seattle on Sunday. Kevin Kiermaier belted a solo homer to improve to 5-for-12 with three runs scored in three contests for Tampa Bay since returning from a 61-game absence due to a hip injury. Although the Rays lead the Blue Jays by one game in the standings, the latter claimed three of four from the former last week and holds a 9-7 edge in the season series. Toronto enters this set on the heels of a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, although Kevin Pillar recorded his third-straight multi-hit performance in Sunday's 6-5 setback and went 4-for-10 with a pair of doubles versus the Rays last week.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 2.61 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

Rowley has allowed three earned runs in 10 1/3 innings over his first two major-league starts, but was deprived of the win on Thursday after Tampa Bay rallied to tie the game in the top of the eighth. The West Point graduate saw his pitch count elevate in that contest after issuing five walks in five frames. "I just felt like I wasn't able to command anything," Rowley told reporters. "I had a lot of arm-side misses. I normally walk a lot of guys - five is entirely too many."

Archer pitched well in his last outing versus Toronto, however Josh Donaldson's two homers put a damper on his 10-strikeout performance. The 28-year-old retired 14 of his last 15 batters versus the Blue Jays, against whom he will be making his 24th career start. Archer owns a 6-4 mark with a 3.16 ERA in his previous 23 go-rounds with Toronto.

WALK-OFFS

1. Donaldson collected four straight multi-hit performances last week versus the Rays and is 14-for-34 with six homers, 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored against the club this season.

2. Tampa Bay SS Adeiny Hechavarria had a two-run homer and a triple on Sunday to improve to 5-for-14 with two runs scored in his last four outings.

3. Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista is just 9-for-52 with 19 strikeouts against the Rays this season.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 3, Rays 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Toronto 59-65 L3 34-29 25-36 22-29 7-11 21-14 9-11
Tampa Bay 61-65 W1 32-32 29-33 24-30 13-11 16-17 8-7
Last Meeting
Toronto Tampa Bay
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/17/17 TB 3 TOR 5 .194 3 .735 .297 0 .814
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto K. Pillar .293 17 .776
Tampa Bay S. Souza Jr. .333 16 1.000
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Donaldson 6 10 10
Tampa Bay L. Morrison 4 7 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.04 .211 147
Tampa Bay 3.60 .243 114
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto J. Smoak .294 128 .941
Tampa Bay C. Dickerson .282 135 .819
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Smoak 33 71 80
Tampa Bay L. Morrison 29 59 68
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.53 .241 1060
Tampa Bay 4.08 .245 1016