A problem that the 24-year-old right-hander has faced thus far in his career, as well as his up-and-down 2008 season, is avoiding big offensive innings. An example of such an inning came in Jackson's last start, when the starter allowed the Red Sox to score five runs in the fourth inning. However, it is not something that has Maddon worried.
"I'm not overtly concerned," he said. "[Jackson] has grown a lot. The Red Sox, in that ballpark, they have a tendency to gang up on you on occasion."
With Jackson heading into his start against the Blue Jays on Thursday, Maddon said he has not approached the pitcher with any advice on avoiding big innings.
"I don't want to crowd his mind with any kind of negative thoughts," said Maddon. "I just want to see him go out there and pound the strike zone, fastball first, and I think he could be successful."
TB: RHP Edwin Jackson (2-3, 4.98 ERA)
Lifetime against the Blue Jays, Jackson is 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA.
TOR: RHP Jesse Litsch (4-1, 4.32 ERA)
In four career starts against the Rays, Litsch is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA.
Losing on Wednesday, the Rays are now 4-4 on their nine-game road trip. ... Maddon said before Wednesday's game that Cliff Floyd, who is recovering from knee surgery, will primarily see time as a designated hitter when he returns. "I'm not even planning right now on any outfield play [for Floyd]," Maddon said. "That may happen down the road possibly as his knee feels better, to get some work. But right now, I'm just thinking of him as being the DH when he comes back." ... Rays first baseman Carlos Pena has struck out in eight of his last nine at-bats.
Buy tickets now
to catch the game in person.
On the Internet
Official game notes
WHNZ 1250, WGES 680 (Español)
Friday: Rays (James Shields, 3-2, 3.80) vs. Angels (Jon Garland, 4-3, 5.08), 7:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: Rays (Scott Kazmir, 0-1, 6.75) vs. Angels (Joe Saunders, 6-0, 2.61), 7:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 5-1, 4.63) vs. Angels (Ervin Santana, 6-0, 2.02), 1:40 p.m. ET