Toronto (33-42) at Tampa Bay (36-36)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 87° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Mon Jun 28, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays look to avoid a losing streak—something that has suddenly become rare for them—when they open a three-game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.

The Devil Rays, who lost 11-4 to Florida on Sunday to end their record-tying 13-game interleague winning streak, have lost consecutive games just twice in their last 34. Tampa Bay is 26-8 during that stretch and has lost just twice in its last 17.

Sunday’s loss dropped the Devil Rays back to .500 a day after they became the first team in major league history to climb above the break-even point after being 18 games below.

Despite Sunday’s loss, the Devil Rays have won six straight series and are 9-1-1 in their last 11 to turn around their season.

“Any time you win two of three from the World Series champions, you feel good,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.

Outfielder Carl Crawford has spearheaded the Devil Rays’ charge to within five games of second-place Boston in the AL East, hitting .410 (25-for-61) over his last 13 games.

Piniella said first baseman Tino Martinez, who has not played since June 19 because of a strained left hamstring, should be in the lineup Monday. Martinez is batting .281 and leads the Rays with 12 homers.

The Blue Jays have plenty of their own injury problems as they remain without their top three hitters: first baseman Carlos Delgado, center fielder Vernon Wells and left fielder Frank Catalanotto.

On Sunday, the depleted Jays missed a chance to sweep Montreal, falling 9-4. Toronto, which is already well off the pace in the AL East race, has lost 13 of 24 games in June.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Halladay Tor vs. V. Zambrano NYY
8-8 Record 11-7
4.20 ERA 4.37
95 K 123
39 BB 102
1.35 WHIP 1.56