video thumbnail

TOR@BOS: Hutchison yields one run over 5 2/3 frames

It's hard to say whose winning streak has been more impressive.

The Rays will head to Rogers Centre on Monday on the heels of four consecutive wins, the first three coming in walk-off fashion, while the Blue Jays are riding the momentum of back-to-back sweeps of the Red Sox and Athletics.

Drama was all the rage for Tampa Bay this past weekend, but the thrills were only important insofar as they translated into victories for a team desperately needing to catch fire.

"Three walk-offs in a row -- that's pretty cool. It rarely happens like that, but it's been fun and we're getting back on track and winning games," Rays lefty Erik Bedard said after Saturday's win.

Bedard will take the mound Monday looking to write another chapter in his comeback story. The journeyman left-hander has only found success in spurts since his stellar 2007 campaign with Baltimore, but is healthy and has pieced together five straight high-quality outings.

To make it six straight, Bedard will have to negotiate the dangerous sluggers at the heart of the Blue Jays' order. Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie -- Toronto's Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters -- have racked up a combined 34 home runs in 548 at-bats this season.

"Well, you just got to try to limit the damage -- when there's a big inning, try to be more careful," Bedard said.

Drew Hutchison, meanwhile, is fresh off consecutive victories for Toronto. Between his two most recent starts at Texas and Boston, he's twirled 14 2/3 innings of one-run ball, lowering his season ERA to 3.45 and WHIP to 1.18. He'll have a chance to help pad the Blue Jays' two-game lead in the AL East.

"It's still early, there's still a lot of baseball left. ...We know it's not going to be easy," Jose Reyes said. "Our division division is always tough, but like i said, just enjoy the moment and continue to play the way we're playing."

Rays: Second basemen stepping up
• These days, it hasn't mattered which Tampa Bay second baseman is in the game, as long as he's batting seventh.

In the Rays' three consecutive walk-off wins Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the production from the No. 7 spot was key, and it all came from the second basemen -- three different ones.

On Thursday, it was Sean Rodriguez hitting seventh and hitting a walk-off three-run homer in the 11th inning to beat the A's, 5-2.

Friday, it was Cole Figueroa -- pinch-hitting for Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth of a scoreless game -- coming through with the walk-off double.

"Sean had his moment -- nah, just kidding," Figueroa joked after the game.

Figueroa had his, too, and on Saturday he gave way to Logan Forsythe, who went 3-for-5 batting seventh and had two key RBIs as the Rays came back from a 5-0 deficit.

"How about the seven-hole? It's pretty hot," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said before Saturday's game.

Blue Jays: Wheels are turning for Reyes
• Reyes is looking like the player of old. The leadoff man stole three bases for the first time since 2008 on Sunday and is beginning to resemble the dynamic player the Blue Jays traded for in 2012.

After dealing with a series ankle injury in 2013, Reyes injured his hamstring on Opening Day this season. But with those injuries behind him, he's finally coming around.

"I'm feeling good. Getting on base a lot, like I said, if I get on base a lot, It's going to be a lot of stolen bases because of how my leg feels very good, so there's nothing to worry about," he said.

Worth noting
• With his start on Saturday, David Price became the first Rays pitcher to give up five or more runs in the first inning and go on to pitch at least eight in the game. The Tigers' Justin Verlander had been the last Major League pitcher to do it, on Aug. 3, 2009, against the Orioles.

• Tampa Bay's win Sunday was manager Joe Maddon's 700th with the club.

• Joel Peralta set the Rays' relief outings record Sunday with his 251st appearance.

MLB.com Comments