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Walker, Jays go for series win
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09/24/2003 11:19 PM ET 
Walker, Jays go for series win
Tampa Bay (61-97) at Toronto (83-75), 7:05 p.m. ET
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  • Devil Rays preview

    The Blue Jays and Devil Rays bucked a recent trend on Wednesday night by playing a clean game. There were no bean balls and no ejections in Toronto's 5-3 win, a refreshing change of events for this recently rabid rivalry. Thursday's game will mark the end of the season series.

    Pete Walker gets the ball for Toronto, and he'll be matched up against Tampa Bay's Jorge Sosa. Tampa Bay has given Toronto fits this season, winning 11 of the 18 games played in this series. That represents the Jays' worst record against any Major League team, which is surprising because they've dominated this series in recent years.

    Still, Toronto is already five wins past their record from last season. Anything from here on in is just icing for the Jays, who set 85 wins as a preseason goal. That mark is very much in reach -- it will take a 2-2 record in their final four games, all of which are against opponents with losing records.

    Pitching matchup:
    TB: RHP Jorge Sosa

  • 5-12, 4.51 in 2003
  • 1-2, 3.42 vs. TOR in 2003
  • 2-3, 5.25 vs. TOR lifetime

    TOR: RHP Pete Walker

  • 2-2, 4.83 ERA in 2003
  • 0-0, 5.40 vs. TB in 2003
  • 2-2, 5.13 ERA vs. TB lifetime

    Players to watch:
    Reed Johnson snapped his career-high 20-game hit streak, the longest by a Toronto rookie and the fourth-longest by any AL player this season. ... Vernon Wells leads the league with 212 hits -- the last Blue Jay to lead the league was Paul Molitor, who had 211 hits in 1993. He's one hit shy of tying the all-time club mark, set by Tony Fernandez in 1986. ... Carlos Delgado is one homer shy of becoming the 98th player to hit 300 homers.

    On the Internet:
    Gameday Audio

  •  Gameday

    On television:

  • Devil Rays: No TV
  • Blue Jays: TSN

    On radio:

  • Devil Rays: WFLA 970 AM
  • Blue Jays: FAN 590 AM

    Quick hits:
    The Blue Jays have won seven of their last nine games and 11 of their last 14. Since a three-game losing streak in late August, Toronto has gone 19-8. ...The Jays have gone 30-20 in their last 50 games and their record (83-75) is nine games better than last year's pace. For comparison purposes, it's 15 games worse than the best mark in franchise history and 30 better than the worst.

    On deck: (all times ET)

  • Friday, vs. Indians, 7:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, vs. Indians, 4:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, vs. Indians, 1:05 p.m.

    Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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