|10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, May 27, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 15,883
Rays look to continue dominance of Jays
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
- The Blue Jays are 22-14 (.611) all-time on Memorial Day, the second-best winning percentage on this holiday behind Seattle's 27-12 (.692) mark. In the last 16 Blue Jays' Memorial Day games, the home team has won 16 consecutive games.
- At 31-19, the Rays are off to their second-best 50-game start in franchise history (34-16 in 2010). Tampa Bay has been in playoff position for 59 days this season, the most of any team in the majors.
- These teams have met once this season, when Tampa Bay won two of three games in Toronto in April. The Rays went 7-2 against the Blue Jays at home in 2018 -- Tampa's pitching staff held the Jays to a .210 batting average and 2.9 runs per game over those nine games.
- Since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has hit a home run in each of his first three games back. Prior to his recall, Gurriel was slashing .175/.250/.275 with zero home runs in 44 PA.
- Austin Meadows reached base five times last game, the second time he has done so in a game this season. The only other players in MLB with multiple games of reaching base at least five times this season are Ryan Braun (2), Bryce Harper (2), and Jorge Polanco (2).
- In his four starts this season, Yonny Chirinos has a 2.49 ERA and a .193 opponent batting average in 25.1 innings. Aaron Sanchez has a 2.70 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 20.0 IP across four day time starts in 2019.
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The Tampa Bay Rays will open their seven-game homestand Monday afternoon against a team they have dominated, the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Rays won two out of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto April 12-14 in the first series between the American League East rivals. The Rays were 13-6 against the Blue Jays last season, including 7-2 at Tropicana Field.
The Rays have not lost a series to the Blue Jays since going 1-3 in a four-game set Aug. 14-17, 2017 at Toronto. Tampa Bay is 7-0-1 in series against Toronto since and has won the season series in nine of the past 11 years.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo spent four seasons on the coaching staff of Rays manager Kevin Cash before being hired by Toronto last Oct 25.
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-4, 3.79 ERA) Monday, while the Rays are expected to start right-hander Yonny Chirinos (5-1, 3.20).
Sanchez was 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in two starts against the Rays last season and is 2-2 with a 1.95 ERA against them in 15 career appearances (seven starts).
Chirinos is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three career relief appearances against the Blue Jays. Monday will be his 11th appearance and fifth start this season.
The Rays used Ryne Stanek as an opener Sunday, and he went 1 2/3 innings in a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians that gave them the series 3-1.
The Blue Jays also won Sunday, defeating the San Diego Padres 10-1 to end a four-game losing streak.
They feasted on a procession of relievers after scheduled Padres starter Chris Paddack was scratched because of a stiff neck.
The Blue Jays had two home runs and five RBIs from Justin Smoak, four hits and a homer from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and the first three major league hits, including a home run, from Cavan Biggio in his third game since his promotion from Triple-A Buffalo.
"You just want to get that first hit, and you want to get that monkey off your back," Biggio said. "After I got that first hit in my first at-bat, I felt like I could finally exhale and finally just play the game."
Both the Rays and the Blue Jays have made adjustments to their pitching.
The Rays recalled Oliver Drake, who pitched for five teams, including the Blue Jays, last season, and optioned Casey Sadler to Triple-A Durham.
The Blue Jays called up Jacob Waguespack from Triple-A Buffalo and put Tim Mayza (left ulnar neuritis) on the injured list.
Drake pitched 1 2/3 innings Sunday for the Rays, allowing a solo home run.
"You look at his Triple-A numbers, his strikeout-to-walk ratio has been outstanding," Cash said.
Drake, 32, logged 10 innings with the Rays in spring training after they claimed him, designated him for assignment in November and then purchased him back from Toronto in January.
In 19 games at Triple-A this year, he had 40 strikeouts, seven walks and a 4.94 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.
"I don't think we saw the best of Oliver Drake in spring training," Cash said. "He got on a nice run. Hopefully, we can catch some of his momentum, and he can come in and get some big outs for us."
Waguespack, who has yet to pitch in the majors, was 2-6 with a 5.86 ERA in nine starts with Buffalo.
He was acquired last July from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Aaron Loup.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 27, 2019