MLB

Preview: Rays seek back-to-back wins vs. Blue Jays

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TORONTO -- After a prolonged team slump, the Tampa Bay Rays suddenly were hitting again Tuesday in a 6-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

They produced 13 hits, and they hope the offense continues into the third game of a four-game series Wednesday night at the Rogers Centre.

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The Rays had scored only 12 runs in their previous 10 games, eight of them losses, including a 2-1 defeat to Toronto on Monday.

"It was outstanding to get some runs on the board," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "The guys felt really good. I think there was a genuine feel like a little bit of relief. They know what they've gone through, and they haven't changed the way they've gone about it.

"I think I was most impressed at the looseness we had throughout the game. The hope is it gets us going, for sure. There's a lot of smiles, a lot of cheering going right now. That's important. … We're all aware of what we've gone through over the last 10 games."

The teams are 7-7 in the season series.

The Rays will start right-hander Jake Faria (5-3, 3.19 ERA) Wednesday against Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (10-6, 3.00).

In ending their four-game losing streak Tuesday, the Rays managed their biggest hit total since they had 14 knocks against the Texas Rangers on July 15. They had not scored six runs since Aug. 1 against the Houston Astros.

Tampa Bay once again had success against Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada, who allowed 10 hits and six runs. He is 0-4 with a 10.61 ERA against the Rays this season and is 0-7 with a 7.75 ERA in his past eight starts against them.

"Just one of those teams that has my number, I haven't been able then figure them out," Estrada said. "I felt OK today and thought I did make some decent pitches, and next thing you know, I'm down six runs."

The Rays figure to have a more difficult time with Stroman.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 1.94 ERA over his past nine starts overall. He took his first loss since July 3 on Friday when he allowed four unearned runs in eight innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with his defense betraying him. The damage was done in a four-run third inning when the Blue Jays committed two errors.

"I just did my best job to battle," Stroman said after the game. "The defense has had my back all year. They've made unbelievable plays for me all year. I felt like I should have done a better job in that situation of buckling down and getting my team out of that. Just a tough inning, but my stuff felt great."

Stroman will be trying for his second win of the season against Tampa Bay. He is 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Rays this season and is 4-4 with a 4.17 ERA in nine career starts against them.

Faria will try for his second win in two starts against the Blue Jays. His only previous appearance against Toronto Jays came June 13 when he allowed six hits, one walk and one run while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings in his second career start.

It was the second of three straight starts in which he had pitched six innings or longer and allowed one or no runs to begin his career.

Faria gave up a career-high five runs Friday against the Cleveland Indians, the second time in 12 career starts that he allowed more than three runs.