The red-hot Toronto Blue Jays take aim at their seventh straight win on Monday when they open a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Toronto has moved two games up on the New York Yankees in the American League East and is atop the division this late into a season for the first time since July 6, 2000. The Jays enter this matchup on the heels of an impressive three-game sweep of the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics. On Sunday, J.A. Happ tossed seven shutout innings, Jose Bautista knocked in two runs and Toronto rolled, 3-1. Happ (4-1) scattered four hits, walked three and struck out seven, and Edwin Encarnacion homered in the Blue Jays ninth win in 10 tries. "Were playing together as a team, pitching good," Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes said. "Good defense behind the guys, timely hitting, winning teams do that kind of stuff." The Blue Jays lead the majors with 70 home runs and have homered in eight straight contests. They havent homered in nine consecutive contests since April 27-May 5, 2012. One player who wouldnt mind a few longballs on Monday is righty Drew Hutchison, wholl be shooting for his third straight win. Hutchison followed up his first-ever shutout by beating the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday to improve to 3-3 with a 3.45 ERA. Hutchison has split two starts versus the Rays, pitching to a 5.79 ERA in those meetings. Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with veteran lefty Erik Bedard, who is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA. Bedard has filled in nicely for the Rays in the wake of injuries to Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson and is 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA over his last five starts. Bedard, though, absorbed the loss to Oakland on Wednesday, as he surrendered three runs (1 earned) and just one hit - a home run - over 5 1/3 innings. He also walked three batters. Tampa comes into Mondays opener playing its best baseball of the season as well. The Rays swept the Boston Red Sox over the weekend and have won four in a row. Tampa completed the sweep on Sunday, as Sean Rodriguezs three-run, pinch-hit homer helped power a five-run seventh inning, and Tampa Bay sent the Red Sox to their 10th consecutive loss with an 8-5 decision. Evan Longoria went 3-for-5 with a homer and a pair of runs scored, and Yunel Escobar drove in two while setting off a benches-clearing incident late in the contest. The contentious victory was also Joe Maddons 700th as Rays manager. Joel Peralta (2-3), who blew a two-run lead in the seventh but was rescued by the Tampa offense, was credited with the win. Leading by five in the seventh, Escobar stole third and the Red Sox bench started jawing at him from the dugout. He talked back and started walking toward their bench, before Johnny Gomes ran in from left field and both benches cleared. Gomes, Escobar and Rodriguez were all ejected after the incident. "What was the score, 8-3? It was a five-run lead in the seventh inning. So thats not even nearly as egregious as last year in the playoffs," Maddon said of the incident. Tampa has split four games with the Jays this season. Marco Fabian Jersey
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. The Cavaliers first-year forward will miss at least three weeks with a strained left knee, the latest setback for the No.When the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars stars last met, the attention shifted from hockey to a decidedly more serious subject in a matter of seconds. On Wednesday, the two teams will get together in Dallas to play the game that was postponed due to a scary incident involving Stars forward Rich Peverley. The initial matchup on March 10 was stopped with 6:23 played in the opening period after Peverley collapsed on the Dallas bench and suffered what was later called a cardiac episode. Peverley spent a few days in the hospital and eventually underwent a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, but he wont play again this season. Columbus was ahead 1-0 at the time of Peverleys collapse, and although tonights game will be a full 60-minute contest, the Blue Jackets will keep that lead. Although the Blue Jackets and Stars play in different conferences, Wednesdays game is big for both teams. In fact, Columbus can clinch a playoff spot for only the second time in franchise history with a win tonight. The Blue Jackets currently hold the last of two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. With 89 points, Columbus is four ahead of Washington and five in front on New Jersey with three games left for all three teams. The Capitals and Devils are idle on Wednesday. Columbus also is one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the Easts first wild card berth. The Red Wings also have three games remaining and play in Pittsburgh tonight. The Blue Jackets only trip to the postseason came in 2009 when they were swept out of the first round by Detroit. The Stars cant clinch on Wednesday, but they can move four points ahead of Phoenix for the last wild card spot in the West. Dallas has 89 points to give the club two more than the Coyotes, who are idle tonight. Both clubs have three games left and will face each other on the final day of the regular season, as they are set to meet Sunday in Phoenix. The Blue Jackets have won two straight and three of their last four games and are coming off Tuesdays overtime win against the visiting Coyotes. Ryan Johansens goal 3:33 into ovvertime lifted Columbus to the 4-3 win over Phoenix.dddddddddddd Johansen handled a loose puck near center ice, skated in along the left side and fired a wrist shot that beat Thomas Greiss top-shelf on his glove side. "(Johansens) been a monster for us all year, scoring some big goals," said Columbus Blake Comeau."He thrives in those moments. He wants to be a No. 1 center like he has been for us all year. Youve got to step up and be that guy in key moments, and hes done that this year." Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for the win and is expected to start again tonight. Tuesdays tilt was the final home game of the regular season for Columbus, which will visit Dallas, Tampa Bay and Florida to wrap up its schedule. The Blue Jackets are 19-16-3 as the road team this season. The Stars picked up their second victory in three games and also won for the fifth time in seven outings with Tuesdays shootout win over visiting Nashville. Tyler Seguin scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout as the Stars inched closer to a playoff spot with the 3-2 win at American Airlines Center. "We just focused on what we could do," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "The schedule is demanding and it gets a little bit worse tomorrow. Im a little concerned that our energy was good early and the energy began just slipping away." Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski scored in regulation for the Stars, while Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots. Dallas is 22-10-7 as the host this season and is playing the second part of a three-game homestand on Wednesday. The Stars will welcome St. Louis on Friday before Sundays meeting with the Coyotes. Columbus has won two straight and three of the last four meetings in this series overall and has taken two straight in Big D. Lehtonen could get the call again in net for Dallas. He is 5-5-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and .936 save percentage in his career against Columbus. Bobrovsky is 5-0-1 with a 1.96 GAA and .937 save percentage in six lifetime meetings with the Stars. ' ' '