Toronto-Tampa Bay: Jays Going for Six Straight

Dino MoriAnalyst IMay 6, 2008

The suddenly surging Toronto Blue Jays host the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Center on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series.

The Blue Jays, after a miserable April, are unbeaten in the month of May.  They have reeled off five straight victories and send right-hander A.J Burnett to the hill against the Rays.

Burnett enters the game with a record of 3-2 with a 4.82 earned run average.  He will be opposed by Andy Sonnanstine, who is 4-1 with a 4.42 ERA.  Both pitchers are coming off impressive wins in their last outings.  Burnett went 7.1 scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox, while Sonnanstine allowed just one run in eight innings versus the Baltimore Orioles.

Toronto remains last in the American League East division at 16-17, but did complete a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox yesterday.

Despite being below .500, the Blue Jays are getting outstanding starting pitching. The five-man staff ranks second only to the Oakland Athletics in team ERA.

The A's ERA stands at 3.12, while the Blue Jays sits at 3.27.

On Monday, right-hander Dustin McGowan was the latest Blue Jay hurler to give manager John Gibbons another quality start.  He threw 7.1 shutout innings against the White Sox in a 1-0 victory.

Over the past 10 games, the Blue Jays starters have gone an average of 6.2 innings, surrendering two runs or less in each of those contests.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is in the midst of a three game slide.  The Rays were swept by the Red Sox and fell three-and-one-half games behind Boston in the AL East.

Tampa Bay is 16-15 on the season.