The host Tampa Bay Rays won their fifth consecutive game after beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Friday night.
Tampa Bay’s win came on the heels of losing two out of three to the Blue Jays last weekend in Buffalo, N.Y. The second game of this three-game series will be Saturday afternoon.
Tampa Bay chased Toronto rookie Alek Manoah (2-1) in the fourth after he struck Ji-Man Choi in the knee with bases loaded, driving in Tampa Bay’s third run of the night.
The Rays had trailed 1-0 going into the third but took the lead after loading the bases for the first time.
With one out, Manoah struck out Wander Franco before giving up a single to Austin Meadows, which plated Brett Phillips (2-for-4, 2 runs scored) and Mike Zunino.
In the fourth, Taylor Walls doubled with one out then moved to third on an error by third baseman Cavan Biggio. With two outs, Manoah walked Brandon Lowe before hitting Choi to make it a 3-1 game.
Manoah ended the night with nine strikeouts in his 3 2/3 innings.
Tampa Bay tagged on a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh.
The first two came on a two-out single from Choi (three RBIs) and the second two on a double by Walls (2-for-4, two RBIs).
The Blue Jays, who have now lost three of the past four, took the initial lead in the top of the third when George Springer drove in Bo Bichette on a two-out single.
Toronto did not get a single hit between Springer’s RBI single until Randal Grichuk singled with one out in the ninth.
Tampa Bay used three pitchers out of the bullpen and it gave up one hit over the final five innings. Starter Shane McClanahan went four innings giving up a run off one hit and he got five of the team’s 14 strikeouts.
–Field Level Media