Major League Baseball
Preview
Toronto at Tampa Bay
When: 6:10 PM ET, Saturday, April 30, 2016
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Toronto Blue Jays look to continue their power surge when they visit the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday for the second of a three-game series between American League East rivals. The Blue Jays, who led the majors in homers in 2015, belted four solo blasts in the 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Michael Saunders hit his second and third homers against the Rays this season Friday while reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson also went deep for the eighth time in 2016 in Toronto’s win. The Blue Jays will send consistent left-hander J.A. Happ to the mound Saturday against 2015 All-Star Chris Archer, who won his first game since August 31 last time out. Tampa Bay has lost two in a row after winning three straight and must get more from third baseman Evan Longoria, who is slumping at 3-for-24 with nine strikeouts in the last six contests. Brad Miller is beginning to heat up for the Rays, going 6-for-17 with four extra-base hits the last five games.

TV: 6:10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH J.A. Happ (3-0, 2.42 ERA) vs. Rays RH Chris Archer (1-4, 5.47)

Happ has gone at least six innings in each of his four starts and won the last three, including last Saturday when he allowed three runs over seven frames against Oakland. The Northwestern product gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings at Tampa Bay on April 6 without being involved in the decision and is 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA lifetime versus the Rays. Steve Pearce has homered three times against Happ.

Archer struck out 10 with no walks over 6 2/3 scoreless innings last time out against Baltimore while permitting five hits. The 27-year-old, who boasts 39 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings, limited the Blue Jays to two earned runs in five innings on April 3 and is 5-4 with a 3.28 ERA in his career against them. Archer has kept Jose Bautista (5-for-34, one homer), Edwin Encarnacion (6-for-39, three homers) and Donaldson (3-for-20) under control.

WALK-OFFS

1. Tampa Bay 2B and leadoff batter Logan Forsythe is 8-for-18 over his last five outings.

2. Saunders is 14-for-39 with three homers in his the past nine games to raise his season average to .324.

3. The Rays are 2-for-26 with runners in scoring position during the first four games of their current homestand.

PREDICTION: Rays 4, Blue Jays 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Toronto 11-13 W1 5-7 6-6 9-9 0-3 2-1 0-0
Tampa Bay 10-12 L2 7-7 3-5 7-9 3-3 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Toronto Tampa Bay
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/29/16 TOR 6 TB 1 .212 4 .873 .257 1 .697
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto J. Bautista .333 5 .990
Tampa Bay K. Kiermaier .375 6 .849
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Donaldson 3 5 5
Tampa Bay S. Souza 3 3 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 3.14 .213 41
Tampa Bay 3.80 .244 54
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto M. Saunders .324 23 .982
Tampa Bay L. Forsythe .316 25 .957
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Donaldson 8 23 20
Tampa Bay S. Souza 5 10 11
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 3.87 .237 175
Tampa Bay 3.33 .222 198