Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays game preview
AUG 23, 2014 7:22p ET
TV: Sun Sports
Time: Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.
After they almost wasted a rare quality start, the Toronto Blue Jays have an opportunity to finish off only their second series win during their August slide - provided Joe Maddon's protest doesn't work.
That could be a tall order unless Drew Hutchison can bounce back from his rough stretch on the mound.
Following a disputed victory, the Blue Jays hope to pull out consecutive wins for just the second time this month while sending the visiting Tampa Bay Rays to their sixth loss in eight games in Sunday's finale.
Toronto starters have struggled in August with a 5.72 ERA, while the club has fallen from 1 1/2 games back of AL East-leading Baltimore to a nearly double-digit deficit.
Previously slumping Mark Buehrle ended the Blue Jays' run of six straight games without a quality start Saturday, allowing three runs over 6 1-3 in a 5-4, 10-inning victory.
Casey Janssen suffered his fourth blown save in the ninth, but Jose Reyes delivered a walk-off single in the 10th. Reyes went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBIs, leaving him with a .404 average over his last 11 games.
The Rays (63-66), however, played the game under protest after the umpires granted Toronto a fourth-inning replay challenge after the next play had begun.
"I'm trusting that they're going to interpret the rule properly and get us back to that point in the game," Maddon said.
The Blue Jays (66-63) are still within striking distance of a wild-card spot, though they'll likely need a better performance from Hutchison (8-11, 4.81 ERA) to close out a rare series win.
He's given up 13 runs over 12 2-3 innings while dropping his last two starts, and is 2-4 with a 7.38 ERA in his last seven.
Hutchison will try to build on the positives from his effort last Sunday, when he gave up one run over his final six innings in a 7-5 road loss to the Chicago White Sox after surrendering six in the first.
"He settled in and did a heck of a job, a glimpse of what the kid can become and what he's done," manager John Gibbons said.
Hutchison hasn't fared well against the Rays, going 2-2 with a 7.78 ERA in four starts. He's given up 11 runs over 10 1-3 innings in his last two matchups after allowing three hits over 5 1-3 shutout innings in a 4-2 road win April 1.
Desmond Jennings has gone 3 for 4 with a home run off the right-hander, while James Loney is 3 for 5 with a homer. Loney came through with a pinch-hit RBI single to tie the score in the ninth Saturday.
Chris Archer (8-6, 3.17) is 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA in his past nine starts and 4-2 with a 1.76 mark in his last nine on the road.
The right-hander, though, is coming off a rocky outing Tuesday as he gave up four runs - one earned - and walked five over 5 2-3 innings in an 8-6, 11-inning home loss to Detroit.
Archer surrendered five runs over five innings versus Toronto on July 11 but did not fare in the decision in an 8-5 home defeat. He gave up two runs with seven strikeouts over six innings in each of his previous two meetings this season.
Reyes is 6 for 10 lifetime against Archer, though slugger Jose Bautista is just 1 for 13.