Tampa Bay (45-50) at Toronto (40-55)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 23, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will try to get back on track when they begin a three-game series against the struggling Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome.

The Devil Rays are coming off a 7-5 defeat to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday—their sixth straight road loss and third overall. They have lost five of 17 since moving a season-high two games over .500 on July 3, helped by a surprising 12 game-winning streak before the All-Star break.

“We’re trying to get something going again,” said Rocco Baldelli, who hit his first career grand slam Thursday—just his second hit in his last 18 at-bats. “It’s just not happening.”

Carl Crawford hopes to keep up his strong hitting and spark the Tampa Bay offense.

The All-Star outfielder, who leads the league with 40 stolen bases, went 2-for-3 Thursday to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and match a career high—while batting .351 (20-for-57) in the stretch. He is hitting .344 (11-for-32) against Toronto this season with two home runs, six RBIs and seven runs scored.

The Blue Jays’ offensive woes continued with a 1-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday. It was the ninth defeat in 10 games for Toronto, which has averaged 2.3 runs during that span and are 15 games under .500 for the first time this season.

“We haven’t been as productive as I thought we would be, and I don’t have any answers for that,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “It would certainly help if we could just get a couple guys hot. It seems that we’ve had a difficult time doing that all year long. Hitting’s contagious, and we just haven’t hit any stride where we’re clicking on all cylinders.”

First baseman Carlos Delgado went 1-for-4 Thursday, is batting .125 (5-for-40) with two homers, three RBIs and 13 strikeouts in his last 10 games.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Hendrickson Bal vs. M. Batista Col
10-15 Record 10-13
4.81 ERA 4.80
87 K 104
46 BB 96
1.40 WHIP 1.52