Rays-Blue Jays preview
At Blue Jays
What's new: The Blue Jays have stumbled recently, falling to four games out of the American League's second wild-card spot thanks to a 5-12 record this month. Toronto's 4.99 ERA this month was the third worst in the league entering Thursday, and its 56 runs scored in August ranked last. Melky Cabrera ranks among the AL leaders in batting (.314), runs scored (77), doubles (33) and hits (162). Toronto also has two of the league leaders in home runs: Edwin Encarnacion has 27, and Jose Bautista has 24. Casey Janssen's 19 saves were eighth in the AL.
Key stat: Toronto has been off to slow starts lately, losing its past five series openers. The Blue Jays have also been outscored 13-2 in the first inning of their past five games.
Connections: Jays 1B Dan Johnson (on the DL) is a former Ray, and C Dioner Navarro is a former Rays All-Star. RHP Todd Redmond is a St. Petersburg native. Rays C Jose Molina is a former Jay.
Series history: Rays lead 150-135 overall; Jays lead 78-64 in Toronto.
Matt Baker, Times staff writer