The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are set to play the second game of a three-game series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field

Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays

The Rangers offense has scored 35 runs over the past four games

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The Blue Jays aim for a sweep of their AL East rivals after slamming eight home runs on Saturday afternoon.

Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay has lost a season-worst four games in a row and is facing being swept for the first time since May 24-26.  The Rays fell 17-11 in Saturday’s defeat, but manager Joe Maddon found some positive things to take away from the loss.  “I really love the way we stayed with it all the way through,” he said.  “I really appreciated our guys’ effort today.”  Despite dropping the first two games of this series, the club still has 33-20 record on the road (+960), which is the best mark in baseball.  Tampa is also a solid 21-12 during the day (+600) and the total is 14-18 O/U in those contests.  The Rays are 6-5 on the season against the Blue Jays and 2-3 at the Rogers Centre.

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The pressure of holding the AL East lead may be getting to the young Rays, as they look to bounce back from a loss on Friday night.

Tampa Bay Rays at Florida Marlins

Tampa Bay is 23-11 on the road, but have lost five of their last seven and must win the final two games of this series to avoid their first losing road trip of the season.  The Rays are also just 4-6 in interleague play this year and have lost four of their last five.  Part of their recent struggles has been the leadoff spot, as players that have been placed at the top of the lineup card have combined for just a .244 batting average and .339 on-base percentage.  “I’m just looking for the right slot,” said manager Joe Maddon.  “It’d be nice to really feel good about No. 1.”  Tampa Bay went 10-2 against Florida the past two seasons, but are currently just 1-3 against them this season.  During Maddon’s tenure, the Rays are 17-11 against the Marlins overall.

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The Braves offense has been piling up hits at a rapid pace and faces a struggling pitcher in tonight’s contest.

Tampa Bay Rays at Atlanta Braves

Tampa Bay had spent 52 consecutive days in first place in the AL East, but the Rays have shared the top spot with the Yankees the past three days.  The team has held the majors best record for a total of 59 games this season, 19 more than their first 12 years combined.  The offense has been scuffling since May 21, scoring two runs or fewer in a game nine times.  Manager Joe Maddon summed it up after his club dropped Game Two of the series, “The good thing is we won on Tuesday night and lost today, let’s try and win the series on Thursday.”  Tampa is still a dominating 23-9 on the road this season and has outscored opponents 188-110 away from Tropicana Field.

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