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Rays Use Late Rally To Send Jays To Fifth Straight Loss

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

When they needed a run late, the Tampa Bay Rays turned to a tried and true method, as Manuel Margot’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and helped propel the Rays to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night at Tropicana Field.

Toronto hoped to give starter Kevin Gausman an opportunity to earn the win by coming out for the eighth, but he allowed a leadoff double to Mike Zunino followed by an infield single from Taylor Walls, allowing Margot to come up and single through a drawn-in infield in order to break the tie.

Gausman would be replaced by left-hander Tim Mayza, who got Wander Franco to ground into a double play, but Kevin Cash went to the bench and brought in Francisco Mejia to pinch-hit for Brett Phillips, and the catcher responded with a RBI single to bring in Walls to make it 4-2, and Brandon Lowe’s second triple of the night made it a three-run lead.

The Rays initially took the lead over Toronto in the second inning, as Lowe tripled to lead off the inning, scoring two batters later on a fielder’s choice by Ji-Man Choi, with Lowe avoiding the tag at the plate.

Tampa Bay added a second run off Gausman in the fifth, as he threw a chopper by Kevin Kiermaier past Vladimir Guerrero Jr. up the first base line for a three-base error, and Zunino drove him in with a wall-ball single to left.

Drew Rasmussen kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when Raimel Tapia singled with two out in the inning, moved into scoring position after Bo Bichette drew a walk, and Guerrero drove in Tapia with a base hit.

The Jays tied the game in the top of the eighth off Brooks Raley on consecutive singles by Vinny Capra, his first career hit, Santiago Espinal, and Tapia.  Andrew Kittredge was brought in and struck out Bichette and got Guerrero to ground into a double play to get out of the inning with the game tied.

Jason Adam worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his first major league save.

Tampa Bay can earn a series win and extend their winning streak to three straight games with a win Saturday.  Ryan Yarbrough (0-0, 6.14 ERA) will make the start, taking on Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0, 13.50 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:10.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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