TORONTO-- On Friday night outfielder Tommy Pham drove in two runs & reached base four times, while Austin Meadows came off the bench to drive in three runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-3. With the win the Rays improved to 86
Tampa Bay entered the game looking to start a new winning streak after having their five-game winning streak snapped on Thursday when Toronto scored seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to overcome a six run deficit. And while the Rays on Friday night turned the way of opener by giving the ball to righty reliever Diego Castillo, the Blue Jays countered with right-hander Sean Reid-Foley.
Reid-Foley, who had won 2 of his last 3 starts, struggled in the top first when with two outs the Rays got a single from designated hitter Ji Man Choi then Pham walked. And both runners scored when Blue Jays rookie first baseman Rowdy Tellez allowed a groundball, off the bat of second baseman Joey Wendle, to go between his legs for a two-base two runs scoring error.
Castillo, who opened the game for the 10th time this year, was unable to get a shutdown inning, when two batters into the bottom of the first, Blue Jays shortstop Lourdes Gurriel drove a pitch deep over the wall in center, cutting the Rays lead to 2-1.
Castillo threw 15 pitches in his only inning & was replaced by lefty Jalen Beeks. And the Rays picked up another run in the top fourth with two outs again, this time when outfielder Mallex Smith doubled to left-center, driving in first baseman Jake Bauers, who also doubled in the inning. But that 3-1 Rays lead was wiped out with two Blue Jay swings of the bat, first when Gurriel hit another ball over the wall in center, giving him three home runs on three straight swings. Then after Beeks got designated hitter Kendrys Morales to ground out, Toronto outfielder Randal Grichuk drilled another Beeks pitch well over the wall in center, tying the game up at three.
Tampa Bay’s first two pitchers were unable to get shutdown innings after scoring in the top of two innings but in the top of the fifth the Rays took their third lead of the game on a run-scoring triple by Pham, bringing home Choi who led the inning off with a double. Unfortunately for the Rays, Pham was left stranded on third after the next three Tampa Bay batters were unable to put together a productive out, the last being a close play at first on a groundball by outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was originally called safe but a replay challenge by Toronto got the call overturned.
After a 1-2-3 inning by lefty reliever Adam Kolarek, Tampa Bay put together a four run inning, that included a two run single by Meadows, giving him his first two runs batted in as a Rays player. Meadows added a run scoring single in the seven when the Rays scored three more runs. Wendle capped the three run inning with a double to left-center that drove in Meadows, giving the Rays an eight run lead.
Tampa Bay looks to make it two straight over Toronto when the two teams play the third game of the four game series on Saturday afternoon. Righty Tyler Glasnow (2-6 4.22) gets the start for the Rays while the Blue Jays send lefty Thomas Pannone (3-1 3.77) to the mound. Coverage begins on 620 WDAE with Steve Carney & The Inside Pitch at 2PM followed by This Week In Rays Baseball at 2:30PM then the first pitch at 4:05PM.