Toronto (45-57) at Tampa Bay (48-54)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 6:15 pm EDT Sat Jul 31, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After trading their staff ace, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will turn to reliever Jorge Sosa to fill the void.

Sosa looks to help the Devil Rays avoid their sixth straight loss to the Toronto Blue Jays when the AL East rivals continue a three-game series at Tropicana Field.

The Devil Rays traded right-hander Victor Zambrano and minor league right-hander Bartolome Fortunato to the New York Mets on Friday for highly touted minor league left-hander Scott Kazmir and right-hander Jose Diaz.

“I think we’re getting one of the fine left-handed pitching prospects in baseball,” said Tampa Bay general manager Chuck LaMar. “We … have some financial flexibility, too. It’s a move that’s not easy to make at anytime, but we felt like it was the right time.”

Zambrano, a 28-year-old right-hander, was 9-7 with a 4.43 ERA for Tampa Bay.

Sosa will be the first to try make up for the loss in his first start of the season.

The 27-year-old right-hander, who made 33 starts for Tampa Bay over the previous two seasons, is 2-0 with a 5.56 ERA in 29 relief appearances this year.

After outscoring Kansas City 18-3 during a three-game sweep, the Devil Rays managed just two hits in a 3-0 loss to Toronto on Friday—their seventh defeat in the last 10 games.

It was Tampa Bay’s fifth straight loss to Toronto, marking their longest losing streak in the history of the series.

“We just didn’t hit the ball,” said Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, who is still hoping the Devil Rays can bolster their offense with a trade before Saturday’s deadline. “We didn’t swing the bats. Didn’t score runs. That’s all. That’s the story of the ballgame.”

Josh Phelps homered twice for Toronto, which has won five of its last seven games, including three against the Devil Rays last weekend at SkyDome. Phelps’ first homer snapped Tampa Bay’s 23-inning scoreless streak.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Bush Tor vs. J. Sosa Mia
5-4 Record 4-7
3.69 ERA 5.53
64 K 94
25 BB 54
1.23 WHIP 1.55