|4:07 PM PT5:07 PM MT6:07 PM CT7:07 PM ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 PM MST6:07 PM EST6:37 PM VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 PM CT, September 27, 2019
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 16,348
Rays head to Toronto with playoffs in sight
The mission is simple for the Tampa Bay Rays in their three-game series with the host Toronto Blue Jays: Win and they're in the postseason.
The Rays will open the final series of the regular season Friday night in the midst of a three-team race for the two American League wild-card spots with the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland Athletics.
The A's and Rays enter the final weekend of the regular season occupying those spots.
"The goal now is to get in,"' Rays infielder Joey Wendle told reporters. "And once we get in, I like our chances against anybody."
Wendle homered Wednesday in a 4-0 win that gave the Rays (95-64) a two-game sweep of the AL East-leading New York Yankees to complete their regular-season home schedule.
"I don't think anybody particularly wants to be playing us right now," Wendle added. "This team is built to play in a series like that, so we'll see if we get the opportunity to do that."
The Blue Jays (65-94) are playing out the string and beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game series. Blue Jays first baseman Rowdy Tellez hit his 20th and 21st homers in the victory.
"It's pretty special (reaching 20 homers)," Tellez said. "One of those things that a lot of people dream of and work hard to do."
The Blue Jays are scheduled to start right-hander T.J. Zeuch (1-1, 4.58 ERA) while the Rays are expected to start right-hander Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 1.92).
Glasnow has a 2.25 ERA in three starts for a total of eight innings since coming off the injured list. He had a right forearm strain and had not pitched since May 10 when he allowed two runs and struck out five in two innings against the Blue Jays on Sept. 8. He is 0-2 with a 7.58 ERA against Toronto in five career starts.
Zeuch, making his third career major league start, will be facing the Rays for the first time.
The Blue Jays want a strong finish.
"They're going to play just like they play every day -- play to win," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told the media of the Rays. "I know that for sure, they're going to do that. If we have enough players by then with everybody getting hurt. A lot of these games have meant something for the teams that we play."
The Blue Jays have been playing without left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (appendectomy) and shortstop Bo Bichette (concussion protocol).
The Rays have their share of injuries, too. First baseman Ji-Man Choi fouled a ball off his left foot Wednesday and left the game. X-rays were negative but the foot was sore.
The Rays are not sure about a return date for infielder Eric Sogard, who has been out since Sept. 15 with a bone bruise in his right foot. "He hasn't quite turned the corner," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Sogard started the season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Rays in July.
There is a possibility that Infielder Yandy Diaz could soon rejoin the Rays but most likely not until the postseason. Diaz has been out for more than two months with a hairline fracture in his left foot.
The Rays have a simple goal in Toronto. "Get to 96 on Friday and then we'll see where we're going," Cash said. "But they're pretty motivated."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 27, 2019