Rays Vs. Blue Jays: Rays Keep Hope Alive, Blast Jays In 12-1 Win

The Tampa Bay Rays steamrolled the Toronto Blue Jays, 12-1, keeping their chances of making the post season alive.

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15 Total Updates since September 21, 2012
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MLB Standings: Rays Remain In Hunt For Wild Card

The Tampa Bay Rays were unable to gain ground in their hunt for the AL East division lead, which is currently occupied by the New York Yankees, despite ending the week with a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.

However, the Rays are still in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs via the Wild Card, but have competition in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Baltimore 87 65 .572 0 Lost 1
Oakland 86 66 .565 1 Won 2
Los Angeles 84 69 .549 3.5 Won 3
Tampa Bay 83 70 .542 4.5 Lost 2
Detroit 80 72 .526 7 Lost 2
Seattle 72 81 .470 15.5 Lost 1
Kansas City 70 82 .460 17 Lost 1
Boston 69 85 .448 19 Won 1
Toronto 66 85 .437 20.5 Lost 6
Minnesota 64 89 .418 23.5 Won 2
Cleveland 63 90 .411 24.5 Won 1

(updated 9.23.2012 at 8:10 PM PDT)


While the Rays are 4.5 games back of the top Wild Card spot, they are 3.5 games back of the newly added second Wild Card spot and four back in the loss column. With just nine games left to play, the odds are against the Rays, and so is the schedule.

After an off-day on Monday, Tampa Bay will play nine straight games and six straight on the road by visiting the Boston Red Sox for a pair of games and then the Chicago White Sox for three.

Depending on what happens in those six games, the Rays could have control of their destiny, if you will, because they will be closing out the regular season at home with a three-game series against one of the teams they are chasing: the Baltimore Orioles.

For more on the Rays, head over to DRays Bay. For more information on all the Wild Card races, read up over at Baseball Nation.

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Final Score: Tampa Beats Toronto, 3-0, Sweeps Series

The Tampa Bay Rays have been fighting for their playoff lives for weeks now, and they helped their cause by sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, winning 3-0. Jeremy Hellickson earned the win, pitching 5⅔ scoreless innings and striking out six, and Fernando Rodney locked down his 44th save of the year. Chad Jenkins took the loss for the Jays.

B.J. Upton put the Rays on the board in the first inning with his 26th home run of the year. Evan Longoria added the final two runs in the eighth inning when he doubled home Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist. That was it for the offense though, as both teams' pitching staffs were able to scatter seven hits over nine innings.

Despite winnings five straight games, Tampa is still 3 1/2 games behind the Athletics for the final wildcard berth. The team will have Monday off before playing two games in Boston against the Red Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For more on the Rays, head over to DRays Bay. For more info on the Blue Jays, check outBluebird Banter. For more information all the wildcard races, read up over at Baseball Nation.

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Game Preview: Jeremy Hellickson Tries To Complete Sweep

After a rough September stretch, the Tampa Bay Rays are once again making a final push over the last 15 games of the season. The Rays will go for the sweep of Toronto on Sunday and try to extend their win streak to five games. Jeremy Hellickson will get the ball and try to keep it rolling, entering the game with an 8-10 record and 3.31 ERA. Hellickson has been strong in the month of September and he has a 2.84 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays this season.

John Farrell will counter with rookie righty Chad Jenkins, who will be making his first MLB start. Jenkins has appeared in 10 games this season, all out of the bullpen. He came on in relief against the Rays in the first week of September and pitched five solid innings, his longest outing of the season. Still, getting the start against the rolling Rays should be a whole new experience.

Tampa enters the game just 3½ games back of the Oakland A's for the second Wild Card spot. Picking up the series finale against the Jays will be crucial before Joe Maddon's club hits the road for their final trip of the season.

Time/day: Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1:40 p.m. ET

Place: Tropicana Field, Tampa, Fla.

TV/Radio: Sun Sports, WFLA 970, WAMA 1550

For more on the Rays, head over to DRays Bay. For more info on the Blue Jays, check out Bluebird Banter. For more information all the wildcard races, read up over at Baseball Nation.

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Final Score: Rays Beat Jays 11-5, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

The Tampa Bay Rays kept their playoff hopes alive on Saturday, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 11-5 in Tampa.

Desmond Jennings, Evan Longoria, Jose Molina and B.J. Upton all hit home runs, and the offense helped out on a poor pitching night from Matt Moore. Moore only lasted 2⅔ innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks. Burke Badenhop came on in relief for Moore and recorded the win. Brandon Morrow took the loss for Toronto, giving up five runs in four innings while allowing five hits and four walks.

The Rays are 6.5 games behind the Yankees for the AL East and 3.5 games behind the Athletics for the second wild card spot with 10 games remaining. They'll go for the sweep on Sunday at 1:40 p.m. ET.

For more on the Rays, head over to DRays Bay. For more info on the Blue Jays, check out Bluebird Banter. For more information all the wildcard races, read up over at Baseball Nation.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Game Preview: Tampa Bay Attempts To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

The Tampa Bay Rays smacked the Toronto Blue Jays, 12-1, on Friday night in game one of their three-game series weekend series. It's too bad the Rays don't get style points in the Wild Card standings.

Even with the dominant performance, Tampa Bay is still on the outside looking in as the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics currently hold the two Wild Card spots in the American League.

The Devil Rays will trot out Matt Moore to try to keep the momentum going against the Blue Jays' Brandon Morrow on Saturday. Moore is 10-11 on the year with a 3.88 ERA while Morrow is 8-6 with a 2.98 ERA.

Time/day: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:10 p.m. ET

Place: Tropicana Field, Tampa, Fla.

TV/Radio: Sun Sports, WDAE 620, WGES 680

For more information on the Tampa Bay Rays, check out DRaysBay. For more on the Toronto Blue Jays, check out Bluebird Banter. For more new and information from around Major League Baseball, check out SB Nation's MLB Hub Page.

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Game Preview: Tampa Bay Looks To Win 4th Straight

The Tampa Bay Rays will try to make it four wins in a row as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the second game of their three-game series at Tropicana Field.

The Rays dominated the series opener Friday, beating the Blue Jays 12-1. James Shields pitched seven scoreless innings for the win, scattering six hits and a walk for his 15th win of the season.

Joe Maddon will turn to Matt Moore (10-11, 3.88 ERA) on Saturday night to keep the Rays postseason hopes alive, hoping he can improve from his last start against the New York Yankees. Moore was given the loss when he gave up five runs on three hits and four walks in just three innings of work.

The Blue Jays will counter with Brandon Morrow (8-6, 2.98 ERA) who is quietly having a very solid year for Toronto. Morrow has given up two earned runs or less in eight of his last ten starts, including his last start against the Boston Red Sox. Morrow was given a no decision, but held Boston scoreless in six innings, giving up only four hits.

Time/day: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:10 p.m ET.

Place: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

TV/Radio: Sunshine Sports Network, WDAE 620 AM and WGES 680 AM

For more information on the Tampa Bay Rays, check out DRaysBay. For more on the Toronto Blue Jays, check out Bluebird Banter. For more new and information from around Major League Baseball, check out SB Nation's MLB Hub Page.

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Final Score: Rays Set Two Records In 12-1 Domination Of Jays

The Tampa Bay Rays had a record setting evening, steamrolling the Toronto Blue Jays in a 12-1 victory. The team set a new MLB record for most strikeouts by a pitching staff in a single season, and James Shields became the first man in franchise history to reach 200 strikeouts in consecutive seasons. He struck out nine while pitching six scoreless innings, improving to 15-9 with the win.

The Rays offense finished with 16 hits, including six doubles, a triple and two home runs, one by Jose Molina and one by Ben Zobrist. Luke Scott had four RBI on two hits, Molina collected three and Carlos Pena had two on two hits each and Zobrist, Jeff Keppinger and Matt Joyce all had one each.

With the win Tampa Bay keeps their playoff hopes alive, but the odds remain long. As of the conclusion of the Rays' game, the Orioles looked on their way to a win and the Athletics were tied with the Yankees in extra innings.

Stick with this StoryStream for previews, updates and more from the Rays vs. Blue Jays series. For more insight and analysis, check out Rays blog DRays Bay.

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James Shields Becomes First Ray With Consecutive 200 Strikeout Seasons

The Tampa Bay Rays have raised the number of records set in Friday night's game to two. After helping the team set a new single-season staff strikeout record, James Shields has gone on to become the first Ray in franchise history to get 200 strikeouts in consecutive seasons.

Shields has been having a great year. If his numbers hold his strikeouts per nine innings will be the highest it's ever been, and his home runs per nine and total hits given up will be within the top three of his career. He's firmly in control against Toronto, having struck out eight through six scoreless innings.

The Rays' offense is backing him up with enthusiasm, knocking Jays starter Carlos Villanueva out of the game after just 2-1/3 innings, taking him for seven runs on eight hits. They've taken an additional run from Chad Beck and four more from David Carpenter for a 12-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Stick with this StoryStream for updates, scores and more from the Rays vs. Blue Jays series. For more insight and analysis, check out Rays blog DRays Bay.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays: 7-0 Lead For Rays In Bottom Of The Fourth

The Tampa Bay Rays have set the single-season staff strikeout record, and by way of celebration they're well on their way to clobbering the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays are up 7-0 as they come to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, and they've held Toronto to just two hits.

Ben Zobrist started things off with a solo home run in the first, and Carlos Pena added two more with a triple in the second. Jose Molina got in the fun with a home run to score Pena, and Luke Scott made things count in the third with a two RBI double.

James Shields has struck out five through four innings. The Rays are still in the playoff hunt, but they face long odds. Any win is good news, but a dominant win might give the team the momentum they'll need down the stretch.

Stick with this StoryStream for updates, scores and more from the Rays vs. Blue Jays series. For more insight and analysis, check out Rays blog DRays Bay.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Rays Set Record For Most Strikeouts By Staff In A Single Season

The Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff set a new record for combined strikeouts in a single season when James Shields struck out J.P. Arencibia on Friday night. With 1,267 strikeouts the combined efforts of the starting pitchers and the bullpen surpassed the old record of 1,266, held by the 2011 New York Yankees.

The Rays also passed the 2001 Boston Red Sox (1,259) and the 2009 Yankees (1,260) on their way to the record. Manager Joe Maddon credited the record not just to the power of the pitching staff, but their health. As he told MLB.com:

"It's primarily been the same group of guys out there this year, except we've had a couple of additions, but it also speaks to a power bullpen, too. They've been outrageous in their contribution. So I think it speaks to power pitching and to health throughout the entire group. ... In order to do that, you have to have power from both [starters and relievers]."

With 12 games left in the season the Rays are currently 5.5 games out of the two AL Wild Cards, giving them a slim window to make the playoffs. The 2001 Yankees made it all the way to the world series, where they lost a seven-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Stick with this StoryStream for scores, updates and more from the Rays vs. Blue Jays series. For more insight and analysis, check out Rays blog DRays Bay.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Lineup: James Shields Vs. Carlos Villanueva In Game 1

The Tampa Bay Rays are 5.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card, and if they're going to have any chance at the post season they need some wins quickly. They turn to James Shields (14-9, 3.77 ERA) on Friday night, taking on Carlos Villanueva (7-5, 3.42) for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Rays lineup:
1. Desmond Jennings (R) LF
2. B.J. Upton (R) CF
3. Ben Zobrist (S) SS
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. Matt Joyce (L) RF
6. Jeff Keppinger (R) 2B
7. Luke Scott (L) DH
8. Carlos Pena (L) 1B
9. Jose Molina (R) C

The Blue Jays lineup:
1. Brett Lawrie (R) 3B
2. Colby Rasmus (L) CF
3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH
4. Adam Lind (L) 1B
5. J.P. Arencibia (R) C
6. Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
7. Rajai Davis (R) RF
8. Adeiny Hechavarria (R) SS
9. Anthony Gose (L) LF

Stick with this StoryStream for scores, updates and more from the Rays vs. Blue Jays series. For more insight and analysis, check out Rays blog DRays Bay. For Toronto's perspective, check out Blue Jays blog Blue Bird Banter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Tampa Bay Rays Roster: Does James Shields Make Sense Beyond 2012?

The Tampa Bay Rays -- should they chose to trade James Shields -- should be paid well for trading a cost-effective pitcher who has shown no signs of aging.

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2012 MLB Standings: Rays Cling To Playoff Hopes

The Tampa Bay Rays enter this weekend's series against the Toronto Blue Jays clinging to their playoff hopes. They currently trail the Baltimore Orioles for the second American League Wild Card by 5.5 games. The Rays trail the New York Yankees for the AL East lead by 6.5 games.

AL East Standings:

1. New York Yankees, 86-63

2. Baltimore Orioles, 85-64, 1 game back for AL East lead, hold No. 2 AL Wild Card

3. Tampa Bay Rays, 80-70, 6.5 games back for AL East lead, 5.5 games back for No. 2 AL Wild Card

4. Boston Red Sox, 68-83, 19 games back

5. Toronto Blue Jays, 66-82, 19.5 games back.

First pitch for Friday's Rays game against the Blue Jays is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

For more information on the Tampa Bay Rays, check out DRaysBay. For more on the Toronto Blue Jays, check out Bluebird Banter. For more new and information from around Major League Baseball, check out SB Nation's MLB Hub Page.

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Rays Vs. Blue Jays Game Preview: Tampa Bay Clings To Wild Card Hopes

The Tampa Bay Rays open a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. Where can fans catch the game?

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