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Rays-Blue Jays preview

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Today-Wednesday

What's new: The underachieving Jays have been better since leaving the Trop, winning four of their past six (and rained out Sunday in New York). The offense has come to life with a shift in the batting order, scoring 10-plus runs in three straight games before being limited to two Saturday. 1B Edwin Encarnacion has been the main power source with 10 homers over his past 24 games though RF Jose Bautista remains the biggest threat. LF Melky Cabrera has done better in the leadoff spot. Pitching has been their problem despite the high-priced additions of R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle. Casey Janssen is 10-for-10 in save situations. SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson and LHP J.A. Happ (hit in the head by a liner at the Trop) are among nine on the DL.

Key stat: The Jays have been held to two runs or fewer in 15 of their 43 games (35 percent).

Connections: Rays C Jose Molina and INFs Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson and Ryan Roberts are former Jays.

Series history: Split a four-game series at the Trop on May 6-9. Rays lead 138-123 overall. Jays lead 71-59 in Toronto.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays-Blue Jays preview 05/19/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 19, 2013 7:23pm]
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