Rays-Blue Jays Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 18, 2013
Though David Price didn't win his last start, he continues to throw the ball well for the wild card-leading Tampa Bay Rays. That's usually been the case when he pitches in Toronto. In position to record a third straight complete game, Price looks to help the Rays improve their play against division opponents while personally trying to remain unbeaten against the underachieving Blue Jays on the road Friday night. Price (3-5, 3.94 ERA) is 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA since missing almost two months with a triceps strain. He allowed two first-inning runs and finished with 87 pitches in last Friday's 2-1 loss to Houston when Jarred Cosart took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his major league debut. "That's three (starts) in a row where he's been pretty much the same guy," manager Joe Maddon told the Rays' official website. Price is 6-0 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts at Rogers Centre, but his last against the Blue Jays (45-49) came at home, where he allowed four runs - two earned - in eight innings of a 5-4, 10-inning victory May 9. Tampa Bay starters have posted a 1.91 ERA while recording a club-record 15 straight quality starts. Winners in 14 of 16, the Rays are 2 1/2 games behind division-leading Boston. However, they are 20-24 against AL East opponents, including 5-5 versus Toronto. "We have to do better against the East," said Maddon, whose team begins a 10-game trip that also stops at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. "If we come out of the break, hold our own, get this thing rolling again in the right direction, we can make a lot of noise in the second half." For that to happen, star third baseman Evan Longoria likely needs to get untracked. Dealing with plantar fasciitis, Longoria has hit .136 with a homer and five RBIs in his last 18 games. He hit .500 (14 for 28) with two home runs and 10 RBIs in his first seven against the Blue Jays, but went 1 for 8 with four strikeouts last month when the Rays took two of three at home. Teammate James Loney is batting .324 this season versus Toronto, which is 7-13 since its franchise-tying 11-game winning streak. Saddled with lofty expectations during the offseason, the Blue Jays are last in East - 11 1/2 games back and 8 1/2 out of the second wild-card spot. "We know it's not going to be easy, because the division is so tough," shortstop Jose Reyes told the Blue Jays' official website. "But if we play consistent baseball and take it one game at a time, I think we'll be fine." Reyes, who missed more than two months with an ankle injury, has batted .322 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 28 games. All-Star Jose Bautista is batting .353 (12 for 34) with four home runs versus Price, but is 3 for 32 (.094) with none in his last eight contests. Even with veterans R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson in the rotation, Toronto starters rank 29th with a 5.07 ERA. Scheduled starter Esmil Rogers (3-4, 3.64) is 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA in his last four, but yielded one run and struck out seven over six innings of a 5-4 win at Cleveland on July 10. The right-hander gave up four runs, including consecutive homers to Loney, Wil Myers and Sam Fuld in the second inning of a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay on June 24.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker