Toronto Blue Jays (49-45) at Tampa Bay Rays (42-53)
Saturday, July 12 - 4:10 PM EST
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Tampa Bay Rays look to rebound against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, but they will have to do it without All-Star David Price on the mound. The 2012 American League Cy Young winner, who leads the majors in strikeouts, was scratched from his scheduled start due to illness and Jake Odorizzi takes his place. The Rays hope Price can return Sunday against the injury-ravaged Blue Jays in the finale of the three-game series, which began with Toronto’s 8-5 victory Friday.
Tampa Bay surrendered 22 runs while losing three of its last four at home after a 9-2 road trip, but Ben Zobrist continues to shine with 16 hits in his last nine games. Jose Reyes is 9-for-15 in his last three contests and joins Melky Cabrera with a seven-game hitting streak for the Blue Jays. With Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie already on the disabled list for Toronto, Munenori Kawasaki (hamstring) and Nolan Reimold (calf) left Friday’s game with injuries.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET; SNET (Toronto), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Drew Hutchison (6-7, 3.86 ERA) vs. Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (4-8, 4.10)
Hutchison lost three of his previous four starts and surrendered three or more runs in four of his last six outings. The 23-year-old Florida native is 2-0 against the Rays this season, including 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his season debut on April 1 at Tampa Bay. Desmond Jennings is 3-for-4 with a homer against Hutchison, who has struck out 93 and yielded 99 hits in 105 innings.
Odorizzi moves up to pitch on normal rest after allowing a pair of runs over six innings in a loss to Kansas City on Monday, giving up two or fewer for the fifth time in six starts. The Illinois native boasts 109 strikeouts – 28 in the last four games -- over 94 1/3 innings. Cabrera is 2-for-3 against Odorizzi, who gave up three runs in five innings of a no-decision last season in his only outing against Toronto.
1. Tampa Bay is unbeaten in 21 consecutive series (19-0-2) at home against the Blue Jays.
2. Toronto 1B-OF Jose Bautista had two RBIs in the series opener and owns 21 homers in 91 career games against Tampa Bay.
3. Rays C Ryan Hanigan (sore left side) was a late scratch to the lineup while Jennings (bruised left knee) left Friday’s game. Both are day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 6, Rays 4