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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays preview

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What's new: The Rays saw for themselves last week how legit the Jays are, combining the majors' best power show (they have 97 homers, next most are Boston's 79) with a better-than-you-think pitching staff (4.08 ERA, sixth in AL), though the bullpen has been a bit flammable at times. OF Jose Bautista, briefly a Ray in 2004, is the surprise major-league leader in home runs with 18, and Vernon Wells has 15, plus a 14-game hitting streak, in a big comeback season.

Key stat: Of the 36 runs the Rays have scored against the Jays this season, 29 have come in the seventh inning or later.

Connections: Jays OF Jose Bautista and RHP Shawn Camp are former Rays, third-base coach Brian Butterfield a former Eckerd College assistant.

Series history: Rays lead season series 4-2. Overall, Jays lead 105-104. Rays lead 59-44 at the Trop.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays preview 06/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 7:35am]
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