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Up next: Blue Jays
By MARC TOPKIN
Published September 15, 2006
TONIGHT: RAYS at BLUE JAYS
WHEN/WHERE: 7:07; Rogers Centre, Toronto.
RADIO: 1250-AM, 820-AM (Spanish).
PROBABLE PITCHERS: Rays - RHP Jae Seo (1-6, 4.65); Jays - RHP Roy Halladay (16-5, 3.21)
RAYS TICKETS: Available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster outlets, devilrays.com and Devil Rays Dugout store in Tampa's WestShore Plaza.
RAYS INFORMATION: (727) 825-3250
WATCH FOR ...
SO SEO: Rays starter Jae Seo had been pitching well but not getting anything to show for it, posting a 1.86 ERA over five starts but going 0-1 with four no-decisions. But he struggled in his last start against Oakland on Sunday, allowing nine hits and six runs while lasting only 41/3 innings.
RUGGED ROY: Jays starter Roy Halladay is known for his toughness. And he is showing it by pitching after being knocked out of his last start Sunday when he was hit on the elbow by a line drive. Halladay has been very tough on the Rays this season, going 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA.
BEAT IT: Halladay doesn't necessarily overpower hitters. He just gets them to continually beat his sinker into the ground. The Rays haven't had much success, with Rocco Baldelli going 1-for-4, Jorge Cantu 2-for-7 and Carl Crawford 12-for-42 (with seven strikeouts). Veterans Greg Norton (7-for-23) and Ty Wigginton (3-for-9) have done a little better.
UP NEXT: BLUE JAYS
WHAT'S NEW: Despite the controversial departure of Shea Hillenbrand, the dugout dustup between manager John Gibbons and pitcher Ted Lilly, and the claims of general manager J.P. Ricciardi that they can't be competitive in the AL East even with a $70-million payroll, the Jays have stayed above .500 and have a chance to finish higher than third (and ahead of the Red Sox) for the first time since their 1993 championship season. They've won seven of their past 11. Roy Halladay is making a strong bid for the Cy Young. He is set to start tonight after being hit on the elbow in his last outing Sunday.
INJURIES: Halladay tested his elbow in a bullpen session Wednesday, but Gustavo Chacin is on alert as an option. Rightfielder Alex Rios has missed the past five games with a bone bruise in his right hand.
KEEP IN MIND: Centerfielder Vernon Wells is one home run shy of matching his career high of 33 and two RBIs short of 100. With seven more, he'll have 500 for his career. ... The Jays' 24 homers are the most the Rays have given up to any team. ... Closer B.J. Ryan has 32 saves in 36 chances, including a major-league-high 13 of more than one inning.
WHO'S HOT: Designated hitter Adam Lind, the Double-A Eastern League MVP, is 12-for-22 during a six-game hitting streak.
WHO'S NOT: Third baseman Troy Glaus, a favorite of Rays manager Joe Maddon, went 0-for-15 on the six-game trip and is hitting .167 in September with no homers or RBIs.
SERIES: The Blue Jays lead 9-6 this season, though are 3-3 at the Rogers Centre. Overall, the Jays lead 80-66 and 44-29 in Toronto.