Wilson Ramos extends hitting streak to 14 games, Rays miss getting to .500 in loss to Blue Jays
After losses in the first two games of the weekend series, the Blue Jays felt pressure to produce a turnaround.
“We kind of saw this game as a game we really needed to win, to wrap up our road trip being successful,” Pillar said after scoring the tiebreaking run on Alex Colome‘s wild pitch in the ninth to help lift the Blue Jays over the Rays 2-1 Sunday.
Toronto stopped a three-game losing streak.
“We know every time we come in this place they play us tough,” Pillar said. “The way we won it today is something to build on.”
It was Toronto’s first win since the 11-inning opener of a doubleheader at Cleveland on Thursday.
“The last two games we weren’t quite all there, and I think it’s due to those long two games in Cleveland,” Toronto pitcher Marco Estrada said.
Blue Jays shortstop Aledmys Diaz was carted off the field in the fifth inning after spraining his left ankle. Diaz wore a boot after the game.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was ejected for the third time in five days after Ryan Tepera was called for a balk by plate umpire Jeremie Rehak in the eighth.
“I just wanted an explanation,” Gibbons said. “Nobody calls balks anymore, not at that time of a close game. Don’t give away the game, that’s my beef. If everybody does it all the time, I get it.”
Rookie Anthony Alford singled leading off the fifth, stole a base for the first time in the major leagues, advanced on Luke Maile‘s flyout and scored on Diaz’s infield single to first baseman Brad Miller. Diaz hit the side of the base while trying to avoid a collision with pitcher Chris Archer, who was covering.
Tepera (2-1) failed to protect an eighth-inning lead, allowing a home run to Carlos Gomez leading off the inning. Gomez was 3 for 4 with his fifth home run this season, raising his average from .181 to .200.
Estrada gave up four hits and three walks in six innings, lowering his ERA from 6.19 to 5.21. Estrada had allowed 18 runs in his four previous starts.
Archer yielded one run and five hits in a season-high seven innings.
Ramos had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
RUNNING OUT OF AN INNING
Tampa Bay ran itself out of potential big inning when Smith and Gomez were caught stealing in quick succession the third. Smith was thrown out by Estrada trying to steal home. “I’ve seen him pitch before and (his windup) is slow so I thought I could maybe see him slipping,” Smith said. “He was heads up. Good play on his part.”
Blue Jays: OF Curtis Granderson missed his second straight game because of right hamstring tightness.
Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi is to make his second rehab start Wednesday following right elbow surgery. He will be limited to 35 pitches.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (0-4, 7.52) will pitch against Seattle on Tuesday night in opener of a six-game homestand.
Rays: LHP Blake Snell (4-1, 2.55) faces Atlanta on Tuesday in the first game of a two-game series.