Rays use 7 pitchers to blank Blue Jays, gain ground in wild card chase
“It’s pretty much the same as two relief appearances in a row,” Stanek said. “I didn’t really notice anything different.”
Tampa Bay has held Toronto to five hits or fewer in seven consecutive meetings, matching the longest streak in the majors since 1920. The Baltimore Orioles did it to the Washington Senators from Sept. 11, 1968, to April 18, 1969, according to STATS.
“We’re getting outstanding pitching performances,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It seems like just about every night we’re in a ballgame because of our pitching and defense.”
Tampa Bay is 9-2 against the Blue Jays this season. Toronto has lost seven of its past nine.
A night after throwing 16 pitches, Stanek allowed Devon Travis‘ leadoff double and hit Kendrys Morales with a pitch with one out. Stanek escaped a 10-pitch first inning when Randal Grichuk struck out as Morales was caught stealing second.
“That was huge for us right there to get the game started off on the right foot,” Stanek said.
Stanek became the first rookie to start back-to-back games since the St. Louis Cardinals’ Red Munger got one out in a loss to Philadelphia on July 28, 1943, then pitched a complete game victory over the Phillies the following day, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“That’s definitely cool,” Stanek said.
Stanek became the third pitcher to start consecutive games for the Rays after Sergio Romo against the Los Angeles Angels on May 19 and 20 this year and James Shields on both sides of the All-Star break in 2009.
Before Romo, the previous big league pitcher to start consecutive games was Milwaukee’s Zack Grienke, who was ejected after four pitches on July 7, 2012, and started again the next day.
Hunter Wood (1-1) pitched two hitless innings, Jalen Beeks worked 2 2/3 innings, Jose Alvarado got one out, Diego Castillo pitched the seventh and eighth, and Adam Kolarek got the first out in the ninth. Romo entered with runners at the corners and got his 19th save in 26 chances when Grichuk fouled out and Kevin Pillar flied out.
Tampa Bay has 12 shutouts this season, two shy of AL-leading Cleveland. Three of the Rays’ shutouts have come against the Blue Jays.
“They’ve got some good arms, guys have some good breaking balls,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Matt Duffy reached base twice and had one RBI and Tommy Pham had two hits, including a run-scoring triple, before leaving with a sore groin. Cash said Pham will likely sit Wednesday. The Rays are off Thursday.
Rookie Ryan Borucki (3-4) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.
Borucki pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, then gave up Mallex Smith‘s RBI groundout in the second. Starting with Smith, Borucki retired 15 of 16 before hitting Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch starting the seventh. Pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi had an RBI double off Jake Petricka, Pham tripled with two outs and came around on Duffy’s single.
Kiermaier was hit by pitches in two straight trips to the plate, once in the sixth and again in the seventh. He’s the third Rays player this season to be hit twice in the same game.
IN A PINCH
Choi is 4 for 7 with one homer and five RBI as a pinch hitter this season.
Rays: Tampa Bay recalled RHP Jake Faria from Triple-A Durham and activated C Adam Moore off the restricted list. Moore was unable to join his teammates on the flight to Toronto on Sunday night because of what the team called improper documentation. To make room for Moore on the 40-man roster, the Rays moved INF Daniel Robertson (left thumb) to the 60-day disabled list.
Blue Jays: Toronto put RHP Joe Biagini (strained left oblique) on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Saturday, and recalled Petricka from Triple-A Buffalo. … The Blue Jays recalled OF Dwight Smith Jr., 1B Rowdy Tellez and INF Richard Urena from Buffalo and selected the contract of OF Jonathan Davis from their top farm team.
Rays RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-2, 3.23) starts Wednesday’s series finale against RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 5.22). Glasnow allowed one run and two hits in a loss to Cleveland last Fridays. Sanchez has an 11.88 ERA in two starts since returning from the DL after missing two months because of a finger injury.