Willy Adames paves way for Rays' win over Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays aren't blessed with a bunch of big boppers, but they will burn up the basepaths at every opportunity.
Willy Adames had two hits and drove in the decisive run, and the Rays beat the Blue Jays 3-1 on Saturday, their seventh win in eight meetings with Toronto this season.
"With our lineup, we have to execute the small things a lot more than other teams," outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said. "We don't have the big home run hitters or anything like that. We just try to move base to base and, anytime we can, try to capitalize on any mistakes or errors and make them pay."
Tampa Bay took advantage of a pair of early Toronto miscues to take extra bases that led to runs. Speedy outfielder Mallex Smith led off the first with a chopper over the mound. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz and second baseman Devon Travis both charged, and then backed off as the ball rolled between them. Smith took advantage of two infielders being out of position to advance to second and was credited with a double. He scored one out later on Joey Wendle's double just inside the right field foul line.
"Initially I thought I would beat out the ball and just get the single," Smith said. "I head the crowd go 'Ooh,' so I thought they bobbled it. Then I saw it just kind of helplessly rolling out to center field."
In the second, Kiermaier led off with a single and advanced when center fielder Kevin Pillar bobbled the ball. Kiermaier later stole third and scored on Adames' RBI grounder.
"We're not a very high-scoring offense, so we have to take advantage of any little mistake, bobble, whatever, to get that extra 90 feet," manager Kevin Cash said. "We don't score those runs if they don't do those things."
Aledmys Diaz homered for the Blue Jays, who have lost five of six and are a season-worst 12 games below .500.
"Any time you can limit a team to one run, things are going right," Cash said.
Ryne Stanek opened for the Rays, leaving after four outs. Diego Castillo (3-2) pitched 2 2/3 innings and Jamie Schultz allowed one run in two innings. Hunter Wood pitched the seventh, Pedro Alvorado handled the eighth and Sergio Romo worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 22 opportunities.
"They were tough today," Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said. "They made pitches, made some plays on defense."
Toronto had two runners thrown out on the bases in the seventh. Martin led off with a single but was caught trying to steal second. The inning ended when Pillar was picked off first following a walk.
Diaz cut the deficit in half with a leadoff homer off Schultz in the fifth, his 15th. Jesus Sucre hit an RBI single off Ryan Tepera in the ninth to restore the two-run cushion.
Sam Gaviglio (2-5) allowed two runs, one earned, and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Gaviglio is winless in 14 starts since a May 25 victory at Philadelphia.
Toronto honored the 25th anniversary of its consecutive World Series titles in 1992 and 1993 with a pregame ceremony. More than 20 coaches and players from the two championship teams were on hand, including Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Dave Winfield, 1993 hero Joe Carter and manager Cito Gaston.
Toronto, which lost 7-0 Friday, scored one run or fewer in consecutive games for the third time.
DID IT AGAIN
Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday, his fourth in four games.
Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons said INF Yangervis Solarte will go on the disabled list after injuring his right oblique on an awkward swing in the second inning and leaving the game. Solarte was replaced by Richard Urena. ... In a statement, the Blue Jays said injured 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf) is "ramping up intensity" in his workouts at its spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. Donaldson has been out since May 28.
Rays RHP Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.14 ERA) starts Sunday's series finale against RHP Marcus Stroman (4-8, 5.20). Glasnow is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts since being acquired from Pittsburgh last month. Stroman left Tuesday's start against Boston after allowing one unearned run in seven innings because of a blister on his middle finger.