After scoring 20 runs to end a five-game losing streak, the Toronto Blue Jays will try to keep the offense going Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Blue Jays pounded out 27 hits on Tuesday to defeat the Rays 20-1, gaining a split of the first two games of the four-game series.
“It got a little ugly,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
George Springer finished 4-for-5 with a solo home run, a triple, two RBIs and three runs.
“It’s good to see some positives on our side,” Springer said. “It’s just a good day. Hopefully spiral into a lot more.”
The Blue Jays scored nine runs and had three home runs in the ninth inning — including a grand slam by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. that gave him six RBIs for the game — against two position players. Luke Raley moved from first base in the eighth to pitch 1 2/3 innings, and catcher Christian Bethancourt pitched one-third of an inning.
“It’s not my favorite place to be,” Raley said. “I told them before, I got rocked in high school, so I can’t imagine what these guys would actually do to me if I tried to pitch. So just try to lob it over the plate and save our bullpen.”
The 19-run margin of defeat was the largest in franchise history. The worst had been a 22-4 defeat to the Boston Red Sox on July 23, 2002.
The Blue Jays are scheduled to start left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (5-1, 4.08 ERA) on Wednesday. In six career games, five starts, against the Rays, he is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
Left-hander Shane McClanahan (7-0, 2.05 ERA) is slated to start for the Rays. In seven career starts against Toronto, McClanahan is 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA.
The Blue Jays broke out on Tuesday after they had lost seven or their previous eight games, including six losses in the final seven games of a 4-6 homestand.
Toronto center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is making his first visit to where he played 10 years for the Rays. The Blue Jays won two of three from the Rays in Toronto last month.
“I told (the Rays) last year when they didn’t sign me, I said, ‘I’ll make you guys miss me next year. Whether you admit it or not, I’m going to make you guys miss me,’ ” Kiermaier said. “So who knows if they do or not; they’re doing just fine without me, so. …”
Kiermaier is 2-for-8 with one RBI in the first two games of the series.
Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow (left oblique strain) is set to be activated Saturday and pitch for the first time this season. It is a boost for a rotation that has lost Jeffrey Springs (Tommy John surgery) and Drew Rasmussen (flexor strain) to long-term issues.
“Regardless of the injuries, I think having Tyler Glasnow back no matter what is important,” McClanahan said. “The guy’s been busting his butt to get back as soon as he can. We’re excited to see what he can do for us and what we know he can do for us.”
Toronto right-hander Adam Cimber (right rhomboid strain) was reinstated from the injured list on Tuesday and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. Infielder Ernie Clement was promoted to the major league roster. Right-hander Thomas Hatch and infielder Otto Lopez were optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, and right-hander Mitch White (right elbow inflammation/right shoulder fatigue) was transferred to the 60-day IL.
–Field Level Media