It took nearly a month for the Tampa Bay Rays to win five road games, but they're on the verge of winning that many in less than a week as part of a hot stretch.
Tampa Bay seeks an 11th victory in 14 contests as Jeremy Hellickson opposes the Toronto Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle in a matchup of struggling starters Wednesday.The Rays (24-21) didn't win their fifth road game until May 3, but they've won four of five on a trip that ends with this contest after beating Toronto 4-3 on Tuesday.Tampa Bay, which began its current 10-3 surge with a 10-4 home win over the Blue Jays on May 8, got solo homers from Desmond Jennings and Kelly Johnson in its latest game.Evan Longoria went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 15. He's batting .400 with three homers and 14 RBIs during the run, which began when he hit a grand slam off Buehrle in an 8-7 loss May 6.The third baseman is batting .512 with 16 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak versus Toronto.Buehrle (1-3, 6.33 ERA) gave up seven runs in six innings against the Rays earlier this month. He's 5-4 with a 5.13 ERA in his last 14 starts versus Tampa Bay, including a loss in the 2008 postseason while with the Chicago White Sox.The left-hander hasn't won since beating the White Sox on April 15, going 0-3 with a 6.68 ERA in his last five starts. He gave up five runs in six innings of a 5-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday."I can't really pinpoint (my command) from where it was in previous starts," Buehrle told the team's official website. "I haven't changed anything. I go out there and do what I need to do in between starts to get ready for the next one."Hellickson (2-2, 5.82) opposed Buehrle earlier in the month, giving up three runs -- including a two-run homer to Colby Rasmus -- and walking four in five innings. Unfortunately, that's his best outing in a five-start stretch in which he's gone 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA.The right-hander won Friday despite allowing eight runs and 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings of a 12-10 victory over Baltimore. It was the most earned runs given up in a victory since the Yankees' Andy Pettitte also allowed eight in an 11-10 win over the Orioles on Sept. 29, 2007."It's probably my ugliest win," said Hellickson, 3-2 with a 3.19 ERA in seven career starts versus Toronto.The Blue Jays (18-27) have dropped three of four following their season-best four-game winning streak, totaling five runs in the defeats. Rasmus went 2 for 4 on Tuesday with a homer -- his first since hitting one in back-to-back games versus the Rays on May 6 and 7.Jose Bautista, who went hitless in nine at-bats over his previous three contests, was 2 for 3 with an RBI single Tuesday and has batted .400 in his last eight versus the Rays.Toronto has lost seven of the last 10 home matchups with Tampa Bay.