Bichette, Waguespack help Jays end Rays’ 6-game win string
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A couple of rookies with Tampa Bay ties put an end to the Rays’ six-game winning streak.
Bo Bichette homered and scored both runs, Jacob Waguespack pitched six impressive innings and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Rays 2-0 Monday night.
“That’s a hot team right now,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “The Rays are playing really good baseball so that was a good win for us.”
Bichette opened the game with a double off Charlie Morton, the sixth straight game in which he has doubled. He hit his third home run leading off the third. His nine extra-base hits are tied for the most in major league history after eight games.
“The results are the results, but what I’m happy with is my ability to go up and have good at-bats every time. To have a plan and stick to the plan, I’m really excited about that,” said Bichette, who had his left leg packed in ice after fouling a pitch off himself in the seventh.
The 21-year-old Bichette, the son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, played at Lakewood High School just four miles south of Tropicana Field as recently as 2016. He has hit in all eight of his major league games.
Waguespack (3-1) gave up four hits and a walk, striking out six in his fifth major league start.
“Just to get the ball against (Morton) is a great feeling for me,” said Waguespack, whose uncle, Percy, from Tampa, bought 125 tickets for friends and associates and filled a section near the Jays’ bullpen.
“He’s up there with the Verlanders and Coles and Kershaws as one of the big boys in this game. That early run really helped out, and the game plan today was to attack,” he said.
Derek Law got four outs for his second save in four days.
Morton (12-4) pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out nine. Bichette’s two hits were the ones that counted most.
“He’s really good at generating power,” Morton said of the 6-foot, 185-pound shortstop. “The curveball that he hit (for the homer) I saw when the ball was halfway to the plate and I saw him almost, like, coil himself and then uncoil. Just a tremendous amount of torque and force. He uses his body really well.”
The Rays, who had scored six or more runs in a franchise-record seven straight games, put nine runners on base in the first seven innings, including three via Toronto errors. They were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and were shut out for the first time since June 28.
Freddy Galvis and Randal Grichuk also had two hits for the Blue Jays, who have won six of eight.
FATHER AND SON
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 0 for 3 against Morton. In Morton’s major league debut in 2008 with Atlanta, he faced future Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero. The elder Guerrero went 1 for 3 against Morton that day. “It’s cool for baseball,” Morton said.
NERVOUS, BUT HONEST
Blue Jays RHP Yennsy Diaz was sent back to the minors a day after his wild major league debut (four walks, two with the bases loaded) in Sunday’s 6-5 loss at Baltimore. “He told me he was nervous, and I love that,” Montoyo said. “Usually the guys make excuses, say I was a little wild and stuff, but he said he was just nervous.”
Rays: RHP Yonny Chirinos was placed on the 10-day IL and will miss at least a month due to right finger inflammation. … RHP Tyler Glasnow (right forearm strain) played catch for the first time is six weeks and hopes to throw off a mound in two weeks. … LHP Jose Alvarado (right oblique strain) is scheduled to pitch Wednesday and Thursday at Triple-A Durham.
Toronto RHP Trent Thornton (4-7) will make his third start against the Rays in the second game of the three-game series Tuesday night. Tampa Bay will open with Andrew Kittredge (1-0).