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Patiño blanks Yanks as Rays pound Cole, bullpen in 14-0 rout

Patiño blanks Yanks as Rays pound Cole, bullpen in 14-0 rout

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Luis Patiño outpitched Gerrit Cole, Brett Phillips hit a grand slam during a 10-run sixth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a three-game sweep by routing the New York Yankees 14-0 on Thursday.Patiño (2-2) allowed three hits in six innings. The 21-year-old right-hander, acquired in the trade that sent Blake Snell to San Diego last December, struck out eight and walked two.“Today was a marvelous day for me,” Patiño said through a translator. “I felt good since I got here, even in the bullpen I felt pretty good right from the get-go. My pitches felt really good and I thought it was a very beautiful outing.”Cole (10-6) gave up a season-high eight runs — seven earned — on six hits over 5 1/3 innings and saw his ERA jump from 2.74 to 3.11. He had 10 strikeouts and two walks.“Sweeps are tough,” Cole said. “In respect to this series, this one is on me.”Austin Meadows homered twice and drove in five runs for the Rays. Louis Head and Ryan Sherriff completed a four-hitter.The Yankees began the day 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East. The Rays trailed the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games.“Clearly we have a little bit of an uphill battle,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve got to play really good baseball the final two months of the season to give ourselves a chance to get into the dance. But there’s no question in my mind, we get hot at the right time, that we’re capable of not only playing with but beating anyone in the sport.”Before the game, New York acquired slugger Joey Gallo, left-hander Joely Rodriguez an­d cash from Texas for four minor leaguers.Both are expected to join the team for Friday night’s game at Miami.Cole departed after left fielder Brett Gardner dropped Kevin Kiermaier’s drive to deep left in the sixth, allowing two runs to score.Albert Abreu entered and allowed Phillips’ slam and two-run homers by Ji-Man Choi and Meadows. All six batters Abreu faced scored.“First of all, innings like that, games like that are few and far between,” Phillips said. “That’s what makes baseball so fun right there.”All nine batters in the Rays’ lineup reached base in the sixth. It was the biggest scoring inning by Tampa Bay since a 10-run fifth at Miami on June 5, 2008.It was the most lopsided shutout win ever by the Rays.Brandon Lowe drove Cole’s first pitch in the first inning down the right field line near the pole. It was ruled a homer, but the umpires gathered and changed it to a foul ball, which brought Rays manager Kevin Cash onto the field. After talking with Cash, the umpires opted for a video review that found the drive was foul.Lowe then reached on an infield single and later scored. Meadows’ three-run drive completed a four-run inning.Cole, who’s 1-6 against the Rays in the regular season, then retired 16 of 17 before Meadows had a one-out single in the sixth.WHAT GOES UP DOESN’T ALWAYS COME DOWNRandy Arozarena hit a high foul ball off Cole just behind the plate in the third inning that got stuck on an overhanging structure at Tropicana Field. Cole, catcher Kyle Higashioka and Arozarena all had looks of confusion as they looked up for the ball.STANTON ON DEFENSEBoone continues to consider having designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton make his season debut in the outfield during this weekend’s interleague series at Miami. He didn’t rule out using an outfield of Stanton, Gallo and Aaron Judge.Stanton went 1 for 10 with six strikeouts in the series, including three strikeouts in three at-bats Thursday.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: RHP Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery) threw a three-inning simulated game. He will start a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday. … 1B Luke Voit (left knee inflammation) hit against Severino and should be back this weekend.Rays: DH Nelson Cruz (bruised foot) was out of the lineup for the second straight game but was available off the bench. … RHP Pete Fairbanks (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list.UP NEXTYankees: RHP Jameson Taillon (6-4) and Miami RHP Zach Thompson (2-3) are Friday night’s starters.Rays: LHP Josh Fleming (7-5) will start or follow an opener Friday night against Boston. LHP Martín Pérez (7-6) starts for the Red Sox.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Left turn: Boone says Yankees 'a lot better' with Gallo

Left turn: Boone says Yankees 'a lot better' with Gallo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Yankees have answered questions about how they would proceed heading into Friday’s trade deadline.They are big-time buyers.All-Star slugger Joey Gallo’s trade to New York from the Texas Rangers was completed Thursday, giving the heavily right-handed Yankees a much-needed powerful lefty bat.New York acquired Gallo, left-hander Joely Rodriguez and cash from the Rangers for minor league right-hander Glenn Otto and infielders Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith.With switch-hitting center fielder Aaron Hicks hurt, second baseman Rougned Odor and outfielder Brett Gardner have been the only left-handed hitters to see substantial playing time.“Sign me up for the guy that’s on base almost 40% of the time and has power and provides the kind of potential balance for our lineup,” Boone said before New York played Tampa Bay. “And on top of it, he’s a two-way player. This is a guy that really defends, can run and do all those things. It’s hard to argue that we’re not a lot better team adding Joey Gallo to us.”Boone didn’t rule out the Yankees making additional moves.The 27-year-old Gallo is hitting .223 with 25 homers, 55 RBIs and a major league-leading 74 walks. While was a Gold Glove-winning right fielder for Texas, Boone envisions Gallo playing a lot in left for the Yankees, who have Aaron Judge as their regular right fielder.Boone talked on the phone for about five minutes with Gallo, who will join the team during a weekend series at Miami that starts Friday night.“We’re excited to add an All-Star,” Boone said. “I let him know how excited we are.”Gallo is owed $2.2 million from his $6.2 million salary. He is eligible for arbitration next winter and can became a free agent after the 2022 season.Jon Daniels, Texas’ president of baseball operations, said it was emotional to trade away a homegrown player who had become an All-Star. He said there had been some discussions about a contract extension, but the former GM said it was clear the chances for a deal now were unrealistic, making a trade the best alternative for the last-place Rangers.“Obviously if we’re in a different competitive spot, we weren’t in a rebuilding situation, which we are and have acknowledged and talked about, this could look a little different,” Daniels said.Daniels said the Rangers included cash in the deal to offset the bulk of the remaining salaries for Gallo and Rodriguez, who is owed about $887,000 from his $2.5 million salary and has a $3 million team option next season that includes a $500,000 buyout.Gallo, a two-time All-Star, is a career .211 hitter in seven seasons, but launches a lot of longballs. Gallo hit 41 home runs in 2017 and 40 in 2018.“We’re going to have nights where we punch out double digits but if our guys do what they’re capable of, we’re going to be on a base a ton,” Boone said.The Yankees began the day 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East and trailing Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle in the wild-card race for two spots.Rodríguez, 29, is 1-3 with one save and a 5.93 ERA in 31 relief appearances this season, holding left-handed batters to a .176 average. He is 2-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 81 relief appearances over four seasons with Philadelphia (2016-17) and Texas (2020-21), and he was 3-7 with a 1.85 ERA over 90 relief appearances in 2018-19 for the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.Duran, 22, hit .290 with 15 doubles, six triples, 12 homers and 48 RBIs this season in 67 games with High-A Hudson Valley.Hauver, 22, made his professional debut this season with Low-A Tampa, hitting .288 with 17 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs in 66 games.Otto, 25, was 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.Smith, 23, hit .324 with 12 doubles, nine homers, 24RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 39 games with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley.Daniels said the Rangers acquired three players they see as eventually becoming everyday bats in the big leagues, along with a young Texas-born starting pitcher who could get his first shot in the majors later this season. Daniels said all four were critical to getting the deal completed.“Overall, it’s a really good value, four players that we’re excited about,” Daniels said. “It made sense to us, and we believe it’ll make sense to our fans in time.”———AP Baseball Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Meadows 2-out, 2-run single in 9th, Rays beat Orioles 5-4

Meadows 2-out, 2-run single in 9th, Rays beat Orioles 5-4

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Austin Meadows hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied past the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Wednesday.Randy Arozarena hit two home runs and also had a key single as the Rays won for the 10th time in 13 games. He stopped a 21-game home run drought in Tuesday night’s 9-3 win over Baltimore.“We’re a very tough team,” Arozarena said through an interpreter. “A very united team. We all have the same mentality in the sense that we all working hard to get that World Series.”Tampa Bay trailed when Francisco Mejía led off the ninth with a single against Tanner Scott (3-4) and pinch-hitter Mike Zunino drew a one-out walk.Arozarena then hit a flare to right field, with first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and second baseman Pat Valaika colliding in pursuit, for a single that loaded the bases.“I called it pretty late there,” Mountcastle said. “Honestly, I didn’t know Pat was over there. Here (at Tropicana Field) you can’t really put your head down and run, you’ve got to stare at the ball the whole time so you don’t lose it.”“I think we were both just doing that and it was sort of tough for both of us and unfortunately collided a little bit and let it fall. It’s a tough play, I think,” he said.After Vidal Bruján struck out, Meadows lined an 0-2 pitch to center.“One strike away,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “That one hurts.”Collin McHugh (3-1) worked two scoreless innings.Alexander Wells allowed three runs and five hits over 5 2/3 innings while filling in for scheduled Baltimore starter Keegan Akin, who was placed on the COVID-19 injured list.Wells, making his first career start and third appearance overall, struck out seven and walked two during a 93-pitch outing. The left-hander became the 13th Australian-born player and third with the Orioles to make a big league start.“I found out about 11:30 last night,” Wells said. “I called my parents straight away, called my girlfriend, my brother and then tried to get some sleep. Managed to get a little. I’m glad it was a day game because didn’t have much time to think about anything. Just get out there and get going.”Wells said family and friends back home watched the game that started at 2 a.m. local time in Australia.In addition to Akin, outfielder Anthony Santander also was put on the COVID-19 IL.Mountcastle hit a solo homer in the fourth. He put Baltimore ahead 4-3 with a sixth-inning RBI single off Matt Wisler.Valaika had a solo home run, his second of the year and first since May 5, to tie it at 2 in the third.Baltimore’s Austin Hays had a first-inning RBI double before Arozarena connected for a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning.Arozarena’s second solo homer in the fifth pulled the Rays even at 3.Rays starter Michael Wacha gave up three runs and six hits in five innings.Bruján, a promising rookie, was optioned to Triple-A Durham after the game. He hit .077 (2 for 26) in 10 games.FROM DOWN UNDERThe other Australian-born pitchers to start with Baltimore were RHP John Stephens and LHP Damian Moss.TRAINER’S ROOMOrioles: C Austin Wynns had his mask knocked off on the follow through of Arozarena’s swing in the seventh. He stayed in the game.Rays: Zunino (left hip flexor tightness) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game… OF Manuel Margot (left hamstring strain) will start a rehab assignment in the next couple days with Triple-A Durham. … RHP J.P. Feyereisen (right shoulder discomfort) went on the 10-day IL and RHP Chris Mazza was recalled from Triple-A Durham.UP NEXTOrioles: RHP Jorge López (2-12) will start Friday night’s game against Washington.Rays: RHP Luis Patiño (1-2) was put on the taxi squad from Triple-A Durham and will face Cleveland on Thursday night.“We want him to start,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said of the 21-year old Patiño. “He’s done good things in Triple-A. A young pitcher that we’ve got to find a way to give him a little bit of a lane, create a path for him to take off here for us and hopefully tomorrow is the start of that.”RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2) is starting for the Indians.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Baltimore rookie Watkins pitches Orioles to 6-1 win vs Rays

Baltimore rookie Watkins pitches Orioles to 6-1 win vs Rays

Rookie right-hander Spenser Watkins gave up one run in six innings as the Baltimore Orioles tied a season high with their third consecutive win, 6-1 over the Tampa Bay RaysBy MARK DIDTLER Associated PressJuly 20, 2021, 3:44 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rookie right-hander Spenser Watkins gave up one run in six innings as the Baltimore Orioles tied a season high with their third consecutive win, 6-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.The 28-year old Watkins, making his third start and fourth career appearance, scattered four hits, walked two and struck out seven. His ERA dropped from 1.74 to 1.65 (three earned runs over 16 1/3 innings).“That’s what I’ve dreamed my entire career, is be able to have success in the big leagues,” Watkins said. “To be able to do that three times in a row is incredible. It just pushes me to continue to keep getting better, keep working. Complacency is not an option for me. It’s been an incredible ride so far.”Watkins (2-0) was signed as a minor league free agent in February after not pitching in 2020 and spending 2014-19 in the Detroit organization. He had considered taking a high school freshman team coaching job in Arizona before signing with Baltimore.“Great story,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s pitching with confidence. He’s not going to be overpowering. Able to work in and out, change speeds — so he’s pitching. Back to the old-school art of pitching instead of trying to blow the ball by everybody at the top of the zone. It’s fun to watch.”It’s the fifth three-game winning streak for the Orioles, who have an AL-worst record of 31-62.Cole Sulser, Paul Fry and Tyler Wells completed the five-hitter. Baltimore entered 0-6 against the Rays this season, getting outscored 48-21.Tampa Bay All-Star catcher Mike Zunino exited after three innings with left hip flexor tightness. Designated hitter Yandy Díaz departed after five innings due to neck spasms.“I’m feeling pretty confident it’s not going to be much time.” Zunino said. “See how I bounce back in the morning.”The Rays (55-39) are 8-3 since July 4. The loss dropped Tampa Bay 1 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston.Ryan Mountcastle flared an RBI double down the right field line and Anthony Santander hit a sacrifice fly as the Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first.Pat Valaika had a two-out, two-run single during a four-run sixth that made it 6-0.Kelvin Gutierrez drove in a run on a single off Ryan Yarbrough (6-4), and Austin Hays added an RBI double against Matt Wisler. Santander started the inning by drawing a walk to cap a 12-pitch plate appearance.Randy Arozarena had a run-scoring double in the sixth for the Rays. He was shaken up on an awkward slide when his face struck the bag during a failed attempt to steal second, ending the fourth.Yarbrough allowed six runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He was 5-0 in his previous 12 outings dating to April 30.BULLPEN BULLETINSTampa Bay entered with an AL-best bullpen ERA of 3.23, and reinforcements are coming.RHP Nick Anderson (right elbow) will throw live batting practice for the second time Tuesday. RHP Chris Archer (right forearm) is set for his third rehab appearance Thursday.However, RHP Ryan Thompson (right shoulder) will have additional tests after feeling discomfort during Monday’s bullpen session. RHP Oliver Drake (right flexor) has continuing upper back and neck issues.TRAINER’S ROOMOrioles: All-Star CF Cedric Mullins was rested.Rays: Tampa Bay ace Tyler Glasnow (right elbow) is playing catch but there is no date for a bullpen session. “He’s in a really good spot,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I know it’s 75, 90 feet, but it’s still Glasnow and there’s reason to be excited.” … LHP Brendan McKay (shoulder surgery) is scheduled to pitch Tuesday in a Florida Complex League game.UP NEXTOrioles: LHP John Means (shoulder) returns from the 10-day IL to start Tuesday night. Means (4-2) last pitched June 5 against Cleveland.Rays: LHP Shane McClanahan (3-3), born in Baltimore, will face the Orioles for the first time. He had a Cal Ripken growth poster on his wall growing up.“Cal is the reason I love the game,” McClanahan said.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Ray takes no-hitter into 7th, Jays end Rays' 6-game streak

Ray takes no-hitter into 7th, Jays end Rays' 6-game streak

Robbie Ray took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1By MARK DIDTLER Associated PressJuly 11, 2021, 9:06 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Robbie Ray took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Tampa Bay 3-1 Sunday, ending the Rays’ six-game winning streak.The left-hander’s bid ended with one out when Yandy Díaz was awarded a double after a fan reached over the left-field fence and tried to catch his drive. If the ball had not been interfered with, it would have struck the wall and not been catchable by left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.“I felt good on the mound, I felt really good with my pitches,” Ray said. “About maybe the fifth inning where I was like, ‘OK it’s a possibility.’ Just felt like my fastball was really good today. I felt like I was able to pretty much put where I wanted to.”Díaz’s hit underwent a video review to confirm it was a double and not a homer.“It was a double, and thankfully a hit at that time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.Ray (7-4) allowed one hit and one walk, while striking out 11 in seven innings. It was his ninth game this season of nine or more strikeouts, tying New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom for most in the majors.”Ray threw 71 of 103 pitches for strikes, mixing in mid-90 mph fastballs and an upper 80’s slider.“Oh man, Robbie Ray was bringing it today,” said Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, who hit a solo homer.“It was awesome,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo added. “It was fun to watch.”Ray enters the All-Star break with 130 strikeouts. Only Roger Clemens, with 140 in 1997, had more in Blue Jays history at the break.Tim Mayza worked a perfect eighth. Jordan Romano gave up Brandon Lowe’s solo homer and a single to Díaz before getting his seventh save in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.The AL champion Rays are second in the AL East, 1 1/2 games in back of Boston. Toronto is eight games behind the Red Sox.Lowe has seven homers in his last nine games, and a career-high 21 overall.Jansen put the Blue Jays up 1-0 during the third with his fourth homer.Santiago Espinal had an RBI single and Cavan Biggio hit a sacrifice fly as the Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead in the fourth.Rich Hill (6-4) gave up three runs and four hits in five innings.Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette had an infield single in four at-bats in his 162nd MLB game. Through that many games, Bichette leads the franchise in hits (203), runs (121), RBIs (101) and extra-base hits (79).ENCOURAGING NEWSRays minor leaguer Tyler Zombro, struck in the head by a line drive June 3 while pitching for Triple-A Durham, said on his Twitter account this weekend that he continues making progress in his recovery.“To everyone who continues to reach out about my progress, thank you! Over the last couple of weeks my cognitive function has improved greatly, and I have tested out of both speech and occupational therapy. I continue PT sessions with concussion specialists at Duke.”PITCHING ENFORCEMENTSThe Rays entered Sunday with an AL-best ERA of 3.51 and will be adding depth over the next month.RHP Chris Archer (right forearm tightness) will pitch for the minor league FCL Rays Monday, with RHP Oliver Drake (right flexor tendon strain) following him on Tuesday.RHP Ryan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) is nearing a rehab assignment, and RHP Nick Anderson (right elbow strain) is throwing off a mound.STEALTH SNAGThe Blue Jays’ first ended on a double-play that started when first baseman Ji-Man Choi made a nifty grab on a low and hard liner off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The slugger stood silently near the plate for a few seconds afterwards glancing down the first-base line with a look of disbelief.UP NEXTBlue Jays: Start a three-game home series in Buffalo, New York, on Friday night against Texas.Rays: Begin a three-game trip Friday night at Atlanta.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Lowe helps Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2 for 6th straight win

Lowe helps Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2 for 6th straight win

Brandon Lowe homered twice and Mike Zunino also connected, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 for their sixth consecutive winBy MARK DIDTLER Associated PressJuly 10, 2021, 9:38 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brandon Lowe is finding his form heading into the All-Star break.Lowe homered twice and Mike Zunino also connected, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Saturday for their sixth consecutive win.Ryan Yarbrough (6-3) pitched five innings of two-run ball, improving to 5-0 in his last 12 appearances. The left-hander is 8-1 in 16 appearances against Toronto.Matt Wisler (one hit in 1 2/3 innings) and Pete Fairbanks (1 1/3 innings) combined for three innings before Diego Castillo finished the six-hitter for his 13th save. Rays relievers have given up two hits over 16 scoreless innings in the past three games.Lowe has four career multihomer games, including May 21 against the Blue Jays.“B-Lowe is really turning his season around,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.After hitting under .200 for a large part of the season, Lowe went 2 for 3 and raised his average to .208.Marcus Semien hit his 22nd homer for the Blue Jays, who have lost four of five.“Anytime he is at the plate he’s got a chance to hit one out,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He’s got power to all fields so that’s been fun for me to watch.”Toronto led 2-1 before Tampa Bay scored three times in the third. Zunino led off the inning with his 19th homer. Kevin Kiermaier then doubled and Lowe made it 4-2 with a two-run shot off Ross Stripling (3-5).Lowe opened the scoring with his 19th homer, connecting on the first pitch leading off the first. He has gone deep six times over his last eight games.“I feel normal,” Lowe said. “I don’t think that I’m on a tear or hot as I can be, I definitely feel better at the plate. Hopefully keep trending in the right direction.”Randy Arozarena added an eighth-inning RBI single for the Rays.Semien’s two-run shot off Yarbrough gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead in the third.“He competed with what he had,” Cash said of Yarbrough, who threw 104 pitches. “I don’t think it was coming easy for him the first couple innings. Give Yarbs a ton of credit just for fighting through some of the stuff.”Toronto had runners on the corners with two outs in the first when Zunino, an All-Star catcher, picked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. off first base.Stripling allowed four runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander had allowed 12 earned runs over 46 innings in his previous eight appearances.“Today he didn’t have his best stuff,” Montoyo said. “That’s going to happen.”ALL STAR SPECIAL SESSIONRays infielder Joey Wendle found out after a 7-1 win over Toronto on Friday night that he was being added to the AL All Star team.Cash surprisingly called a postgame meeting.“Got everybody together after the game and just told the guys, he said ‘Hey, Mike Trout was selected for the All-Star Game but he can’t come so they wanted the next best player in the league, Joey Wendle,’” Wendle said. “It was pretty fun.”It is Wendle’s first All-Star selection.LONG RUNSBlue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette tracked down Austin Meadows’ first-inning foul ball near the third-base wall in front of the bullpen after starting in a defensive shift position. He nearly duplicated the feat on Meadows in the third on a foul in the bullpen area.NUMBERSThe Rays are a majors-best 34-17, including 21-4 at home, since May 13. … Tampa Bay has allowed three or fewer runs an AL-leading 50 times.TRAINER’S ROOMBlue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (left forearm flexor strain) was scheduled to make his second appearance Saturday with Triple-A Buffalo. He may have another minor league outing on Tuesday.Rays: RHP Chris Archer (right forearm tightness) will start a rehab assignment Monday with Florida Complex League Rays. … RHP Nick Anderson (right elbow strain) had a bullpen session and remains on target to return next month.UP NEXTToronto LHP Robbie Ray (6-4) and Rays LHP Rich Hill (6-3) are Sunday’s starters.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Rays bullpen dominates again in 7-1 win over Blue Jays

Rays bullpen dominates again in 7-1 win over Blue Jays

Three Tampa Bay relievers combined on five more scoreless innings, Ji-Man Choi drove in three runs and the Rays won their fifth consecutive game, 7-1 over the Toronto Blue JaysBy MARK DIDTLER Associated PressJuly 10, 2021, 3:27 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Three Tampa Bay relievers combined on five more scoreless innings, Ji-Man Choi drove in three runs and the Rays won their fifth consecutive game, 7-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.Andrew Kittredge (6-1) and Jeffrey Springs each worked two perfect innings, with Springs striking out five. J.P. Feyereisen allowed a one-out single in the ninth to Randal Grichuk before completing a five-hitter.“They were just elite,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “To hold that offense to no runs when they came in says a lot.”Five Rays relievers went seven hitless innings during a bullpen day in a 4-0 win over Cleveland in Game 2 of a doubleheader Wednesday.Tampa Bay’s bullpen has an AL-best ERA of 2.80 since April 22.“Everyone we got down there is really good,” Kittredge said. “I think that’s kind of what everyone of us expects.”Choi was hit by a pitch around the left knee with the bases loaded in the fourth and made it 5-1 with a sixth-inning two-run single. He also fouled a ball sharply off his right foot before drawing a walk during the third.Blue Jays rookie Alek Manoah (2-1) went just 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, three hits, three walks, hitting two batters and striking out nine during an 88-pitch outing. The right-hander was coming off a start July 2 in which he had 10 strikeouts and limited the Rays to three hits over seven scoreless innings in an 11-1 win.“He battled,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Even though his line doesn’t sound that great, he impressed me today.”Manoah ended his club record-tying streak of seven starts without a loss to begin a career. Jerry Garvin set the mark in 1977.Austin Meadows flared a two-out, two-run single to right in the third that put the Rays up 2-1.Taylor Walls had a two-run double in the seventh for Tampa Bay.“We have to play a clean game to beat these guys,” Montoyo said. “They’re one of the best teams in baseball and we didn’t do that today.”Rays starter Shane McClanahan allowed a two-out, RBI single to George Springer in the third. The lefty avoided a pair of big innings by getting a two-out bases-loaded grounder from Grichuk in the first and striking him out with two on to end the third.McClanahan lasted four innings, throwing a career-high 91 pitches. The rookie gave up one run, four hits, three walks and struck out five.PARTIAL BLACKOUTRays CF Kevin Kiermaier was in the process of swinging when a bank of lights went out in the seventh. After the umpires met, it was decided that Kiermaier’s foul ball at the plate would count. He eventually walked.BULLPEN STANDBYBlue Jays LHP Steven Matz, who had his scheduled start Sunday pushed back to after the All-Star break following Thursday’s rainout at Baltimore, will be available as a reliever this weekend.ODDITYThe Rays started play with an AL-best 3.55 ERA but don’t have an All-Star pitcher for the first time since 2009. INF Joey Wendle will be added to the AL squad on Saturday, joining Tampa Bay C Mike Zunino.TRAINER’S ROOMBlue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (forearm) could pitch in his second minor league game Saturday. … OF Corey Dickerson (left foot) is no longer using a walking boot.Rays: RHPs Chris Archer (forearm) and Oliver Drake (right flexor) are throwing live BP and could soon start rehab assignments. … RHP Ryan Thompson (shoulder) was shut down from playing catch for a few days. … INF Mike Brosseau (oblique) went on the 10-day IL.UP NEXTToronto RHP Ross Stripling (3-4) and Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough (5-3) are Saturday’s starters.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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