Tampa Bay (55-80) at Toronto (66-67)

Light Rain Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 36° F
  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Fri Sep 2, 2005
  • TV: RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mark Hendrickson will try to win his fifth straight desicion as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays visit the slumping Toronto Blue Jays for a three-game series.

Hendrickson gave up one run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday to improve to 4-0, despite a 4.14 ERA in his last six starts. He is 5-1 with a 6.51 ERA in nine outings since the All-Star break.

The 6-foot-9 left-hander, who retired nine in a row at one point, bested his previous career-high winning streak of three straight games.

Tampa Bay looks to bounce back from a four-game sweep by Boston, including a 7-4 loss Thursday. It was the third straight game that Boston has rallied from an early deficit to beat the Devil Rays.

“The last three games have all been carbon copies of themselves in a way. We took the lead and they came back. They added (runs), and for the most part we didn’t,” said Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella, whose team averaged 5.5 runs per game in the series.

Travis Lee hit a two-run homer and Jonny Gomes added a solo shot for the Devil Rays, who had gone 12-4 since their last four-game skid from Aug. 7-Aug. 11. They end their 10-game road trip with three games against the New York Yankees.

“We’ll be all right,” Gomes said. “We just have to put it behind us, and we can’t drag it into Toronto and then New York.”

Toronto lost two of three to Baltimore, including a 5-3 defeat on Thursday. Corey Koskie hit a two-run double for the Blue Jays, who suffered their fourth straight series loss.

Scott Downs will take the ball for the Blue Jays and looks to continue his strong effort out of the rotation. Filling in while Roy Halladay and Ted Lilly recover from injuries, the 29-year-old lefty makes his fifth straight start. He is 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in his last four starts.

“I’m just riding a wave right now,” said Downs, who gave up an unearned run and three hits in six innings of a 2-1 win over Cleveland on Saturday.

“Pitching right now is fun. I’m going out there and keeping my team in the game.”

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Starting Pitchers

M. Hendrickson Bal vs. S. Downs Cle
11-8 Record 4-3
5.90 ERA 4.31
89 K 75
49 BB 34
1.55 WHIP 1.35