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Rays Left Handed Batters Set To Take On Jays Mark Buehrle

With Yunel Escobar [1] still unavailable with a hand injury and Ben Zobrist [2] away from the team after the passing of his grandmother the  Rays lineup includes four left handed hitters including  James Loney [3] and Sam Fuld [4] who would normally sit against a southpaw.

The Rays lineup: Desmond Jennings [5] (CF), Kelly Johnson [6] (LF), Ryan Roberts [7] (2b), Evan Longoria [8] (3b), James Loney [3] (1b), Sean Rodriguez [9] (SS), Luke Scott [10] (DH), Jose Molina [11] (C), and Sam Fuld [4] (RF) – Jeremy Hellickson [12] (P)

Jeremy Hellickson [12] enters the game with a record of 1-2 and an ERA of 4.71 and is looking to put a disappointing outing against the Kansas City Royals when he failed to protect a 5-0 lead in a game the Rays went on to lose 9-8.

The Blue Jays lineup: Brett Lawrie [13] (3b), Melky Cabrera [14] (LF), Jose Bautista [15] (RF), Edwin Encarnacion [16] (1b), Adam Lind [17] (DH), Colby Rasmus [18] (CF), Maicer Izturis [19] (2b), Henry Blanco [20] (C), and Munenori Kawasaki [21] (SS) –  Mark Buehrle [22] (P)

Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle [22] is off to a rough start to begin his first season with the Blue Jays with a record of 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA.

For the Rays the impact of the additional lefties in the lineup should not be felt as he is more of a neutral lefty allowing a career slash line (batting average/on-base %/slugging%) of .276/.318/.421 and an OPS (on-base% + slugging%) of .739 against right handed hitters while left handers have a slash line of .262/.304/420 and an OPS of .724 against him.

The key for both pitchers will be keeping the ball in the park. This year Mark Buehrle [22] has allowed 9 homers in 35 IP and Hellickson 6 in 36.1 IP. From the Rays Game Notes the Rays are 21 and 6 when Hellickson doesn’t allow a homer and 14-29 when he does.