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Niemann Hopes To Build On Success Tonight Against Blue Jays, Morrow

After winning last night in dramatic fashion against the Blue Jays, the Rays send Jeff Niemann to the mound tonight to face off against Brandon Morrow for the Blue Jays.

This will be Morrow's third start of the season, as he missed a few weeks in the beginning of the year with an injury, and his second start against the Rays. In the last time he face the Rays, Morrow struck out 10 batters in only 5.1 innings and held the Rays to just three runs. However, once he left he game, the Jays' relief pitching gave the game away by allowing three more runs to score, giving the Rays a 6-4 win. 

Now that Morrow has a few starts under his belt, though, he could be even tougher against the Rays tonight and potentially last longer into the game than he did last time. The Rays have always struggled against him, and they'll need their left-handed hitters to come up big tonight if they want to pull out a win.

Also, if the Rays are going to win tonight, they will need Jeff Niemann to pitch like he did last time out. While Niemann has struggled at times this year - he currently has a 5.60 ERA and 4.61 FIP - his most recent start was a huge success. Niemann took a no-hitter through the sixth inning against the Twins, lasting seven full innings while only allowing one run. It was the best Niemann has pitched all season, but the trick will be if he can duplicate that success against the Blue Jays' offense. Thankfully, the Jays are missing Jose Bautista this series, so their lineup lacks its normal punch.

Tonight's game is schedule for 6:40 PM.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.