Quantcast 2008 Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Take Two of Three from Jays
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Rays Take Two of Three from Jays

The Rays got back on track this weekend by taking 2 out of 3 from the Blue Jays at the Trop and with the Red Sox getting swept by the Angels, the Rays are back on top in the AL East. The Rays played very well this weekend and the pitching got back up to speed with the exception of Edwin Jackson’s performance Sunday afternoon. More on that in a minute.

Tampa Bay Rays merchandise In the first game of the set, the Blue Jays sent workhorse A.J. Burnett to the hill. Burnett pitched a phenomenal game through six innings but he could not hold a 1-0 lead as he gave up a two run shot to Ben Zobrist in the seventh inning and that proved to be the difference in the Rays 2-1 win. James Shields also pitched a great game for the Rays as he allowed the one run off of four hits through seven innings. It was a pitcher’s duel in this game with Burnett and Shields and it turned out that Burnett made the last mistake as Zobrist finished him off for the win. The Rays were able to get back on track and snap their seven game losing streak going into the break.

In the second game of the set, the Blue Jays sent their ace Roy Halladay to the mound. Another pitcher’s duel, but this time the Rays broke through against Halladay in the sixth inning. After three soft hits to load the bases, Evan Longoria unloaded the bases with a grand slam home run off of Halladay to make it 5-0. After a Cliff Floyd solo shot in the eighth inning the Rays had a 6-0 lead going into the ninth. Things then got interesting. Al Reyes who was just activated off the DL came in to pitch in the ninth and the Jays gave him a rude welcome getting a couple runs off of him and a couple of runs off of Trevor Miller to make it 6-4 in the ninth, but then the Rays brought in Dan Wheeler to come in and close the game and he did just that earning his fourth save of the year.

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In the last game of the series, the Rays sent Edwin Jackson to the mound to face John Parrish of the Jays. The Jays finally got their bats going in this game off of Edwin Jackson. Jackson had his shortest outing of the year and the bullpen didn’t help him out either. Jackson went four and a third innings giving up six earned on eight hits and only striking out one. It was 6-4 when Jackson came out of the game and the bullpen could not help keep the damage to a minimum. The Jays got three more in the seventh inning and that was more than enough to beat the Rays 9-4. The Rays got back to back homers from Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria in the third, but they couldn’t get anything going the rest of the game as the Rays fail to sweep the Blue Jays at home.

Next up the Rays welcome the Oakland Athletics to the Trop for a three game set. The A’s send three lefties to the mound against the Rays, so the Rays miss the chance to hit against red-hot pitcher Justin Duchscherer.


By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent

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