Tampa Bay Rays (90-70) at Toronto Blue Jays (73-87)
Saturday, September 28 - 1:07 PM EST
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
A seven-game winning streak kept Tampa Bay in the American League playoff race - but the Rays will need at least one more victory to remain in the discussion as they resume their season-ending three-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays. Tampa Bay opened the set by committing a season-high three errors in a 6-2 loss, falling into a tie with Cleveland atop the AL wild-card race while Texas sits one game behind both teams following a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
With Tampa Bay's playoff hopes still up in the air, Chris Archer gets the call hoping to secure the Rays' third playoff berth in the past four seasons. Tampa Bay may be looking to Archer as a bit of a good-luck charm, having won six of his last eight starts. He'll be opposed by Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, who missed three months earlier this season after getting hit in the head by a ball off the bat of Tampa Bay outfielder Desmond Jennings.
TV: 1:07 p.m. ET, SUN (Tampa Bay), RSN (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (9-7, 3.21 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH J.A. Happ (4-7, 4.85)
Archer entered his previous start riding a string of impressive performances against divisional foes, but struggled against the Baltimore Orioles. The 25-year-old was charged with four runs on five hits - including a pair of home runs over 4 1/3 innings in a game the Rays went on to win 5-4. Archer has been sensational in two starts versus the Blue Jays in 2013, going 1-0 while surrendering just two runs over 14 innings.
Happ will close out a difficult season Saturday afternoon in a park that has been particularly stingy with regard to yielding victories. The 30-year-old is just 1-5 with a 4.32 ERA at the Rogers Centre, despite limiting opponents to a .228 average. Happ has also struggled in his career against Tampa Bay, going 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA and a .366 opposing batting average over four starts.
1. Tampa Bay 2B Kelly Johnson has just two hits in 10 at-bats against Happ, but both are home runs.
2. Toronto has lost each of Happ's last seven home starts.
3. The Rays lead the season series (10-6).
PREDICTION: Rays 6, Blue Jays 2