Ricky Romero: Toronto Blue Jays SP Looks to Continue Brilliance Against the Rays

Jeff GrantContributor IApril 17, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 11:  Ricky Romero #24 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox April 11, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays (5-5) will continue one of their toughest road trips of the 2012 campaign Tuesday night, taking on the Toronto Blue Jays (5-4) inside the Rogers Centre, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:07 ET.

Las Vegas oddsmakers have established the Blue Jays as -140 home favorites, while the total stands at 8 across the board.

Tampa Bay snapped a three-game losing streak with a 1-0 road victory against the Boston Red Sox on Monday afternoon at Fenway Park. The team is 2-5 in the first seven games of this trip, which began with losses in two of three games versus the Detroit Tigers.

Jeff Niemann (0-1, 5.40) is scheduled to make his second start of the season, coming off a 7-2 road loss to the Tigers on April 12, surrendering three runs and four hits over five innings of work.

The right-hander has tallied a winning 4-3 record and 5.23 ERA in 11 career outings versus the Blue Jays, including a 3-1 mark and 5.21 ERA in six tries inside tonight's venue. 

Sports bettors will definitely take note that the Rays are 5-0 in Niemann's last five starts versus American League East opponents.

Toronto dropped two of three games in its latest home series against the Baltimore Orioles, but captured a 9-2 victory in the final game on Sunday. The Blue Jays have a great shot at winning consecutive games due to their 23-12 record following a day off since the start of the 2010 season.

Ricky Romero (1-0, 3.37 ERA) is also a good reason to expect a solid effort out of the host, coming off a brilliant 3-1 home win over the Boston Red Sox on April 11, surrendering just a single run and three hits over 8.1 frames.

The Blue Jays left-hander is a solid 5-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 10 career outings against the Rays, as he's held them to a .186 average over that span.

Romero has led the squad to eight straight home victories dating back to last season when he takes the mound.