ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tropicana Subject has not been sort to J.A. Happ.
5 years in the past, Happ took a line drive on to his head, hitting him behind his left ear and fracturing his cranium. He fell to the bottom exhausting sufficient that he strained ligaments in his knee, and it could be three months earlier than he returned to the mound.
Happ will begin for Toronto in Wednesday’s sequence finale, and whereas he is been again to the Trop 9 instances since his harm there, he is gained solely as soon as, in that very same 2013 season, in simply his third recreation again from harm.
Happ is off to a stable 8-Three begin with a 3.71 ERA, and he is 4-Zero in his final 5 begins, taking a full run off his season ERA alongside the way in which. One among his three losses this season got here in opposition to the Rays, giving up three runs on 4 hits in 5 2/Three innings in a Could Four loss the place he walked extra batters (4) than he struck out (three). On Friday in opposition to Baltimore, he was particularly sharp, throwing seven innings and permitting solely two hits and a single unearned run.
And whereas he is struggled at Tropicana Subject, his total profession numbers in opposition to the Rays are higher, with a 3-Four file and 5.05 ERA — he has only one win in 10 appearances in opposition to Tampa Bay during the last 4 seasons.
Tampa Bay, making an attempt to push via a rash of accidents to its beginning pitching, continues to experiment recurrently with “openers,” utilizing relievers as a part of bullpen days to start out about half their video games in latest weeks. Nowhere is the Rays’ desperation extra obvious than with Thursday’s starter, Wilmer Font, who’s already taking part in for his third workforce this season.
Font pitched six video games with the Dodgers, then 4 with the Athletics, and he is now made 5 appearances with the Rays. He is 0-Three on the season with a 9.59 ERA, however in his 5 video games with Tampa Bay, he is fared a lot better, with a 3.24 ERA and 0-1 file. In these 5 video games, he is thrown Eight 1/Three innings, permitting three earned runs on 5 hits. In his final outing, additionally a makeshift begin, he lasted into the third inning Friday in opposition to Seattle, however gave up two runs on two hits, getting 5 of his seven outs by way of strikeout.
Font has truly confronted Toronto already this season whereas with Oakland — staked with the ninth inning and a 9-Zero lead, he gave up a two-run house run to Yangervis Solarte.
The 2 American League East rivals went into Wednesday’s recreation inside a half-game of one another within the standings, nonetheless nicely forward of last-place Baltimore.
Toronto will get Thursday off earlier than starting an interleague stretch at house, with three video games in opposition to the Nationals, then two in opposition to the Braves. The Rays, in the meantime, go on the highway subsequent week, with 4 video games on the Yankees and three on the Astros, then returning house with seven of their subsequent 9 once more in opposition to the Yankees and Astros.