tampabay.com

Rays up next

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
Published September 28, 2007


Blue Jays

Tonight-Sunday

What's new: The Jays have what Rays manager Joe Maddon says is the best top-to-bottom pitching staff in the AL and they have been showing it off, with a major-league-best 3.49 ERA since the All-Star break and the chance to finish with an ERA under 4.00 for the first time since 1997. CF Vernon Wells, 1B Lyle Overbay and 3B Troy Glaus have been shut down due to injuries. RHP Jeremy Accardo has converted 29 of 34 saves.

Key stat: Four of the 15 games between the teams have ended with walkoffs.

Who's hot: 2B Aaron Hill has a 13-game hitting streak, averaging .456 (26-for-57) over that stretch with 10 multihit games.

Who's not: SS Russ Adams was 2-for-23 in the seven-game road trip that ended Thursday, and hitless in his last 13 at-bats.

Connections: Jays LHP Joe Kennedy is a former Ray, RHP Jesse Litsch is a Pinellas Park resident and former Rays batboy, OF John-Ford Griffin's dad used to be a part-owner of the Rays.

Series history: Rays lead 8-7 this season; Jays lead 50-32 in Toronto, 90-74 overall.