Toronto (44-57) at Tampa Bay (48-53)

Light Rain Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Fri Jul 30, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are off to a fast start on their 13-game homestand.

The Devil Rays will try to make it four straight wins when they open a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tampa Bay kicked off the homestand with a three-game sweep of Kansas City, capped by Thursday’s 2-0 victory. The Devil Rays, who were coming off six straight losses, outscored the AL’s worst team 18-3 in the three games.

“Three in a row at the start of a big homestand, we’re off the right way,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “It should give us a little momentum going into the weekend series with the Blue Jays.”

The Devil Rays are 21-10 at Tropicana Field since May 20, and 4-0-3 in seven series since losing two out of three to the New York Yankees from May 28-30.

“We want to take advantage of being home and hopefully pile up the wins,” said Tampa first baseman Tino Martinez, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI Thursday. “It was definitely a good three games.”

The Blue Jays avoided a sweep in their recent three-game series with the visiting Yankees with a 3-2, 10-inning win on Wednesday.

Vernon Wells hit a walk-off homer for Toronto, which won for the fourth time in its last six overall.

Wells, who has homered in consecutive games, is 3-for-4 in his career against John Halama, who will start on Friday for the Devil Rays.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Towers LAD vs. J. Halama Oak
9-9 Record 7-6
5.11 ERA 4.70
51 K 59
26 BB 27
1.50 WHIP 1.36