Blue Jays, Rays ready to finish up series

MLB Baseball

The Toronto Blue and the Tampa Bay Rays will complete their three-game series Sunday afternoon at Buffalo, N.Y., after the second game of the series was suspended by rain.

The Rays were leading 1-0 when the game was suspended after 3 1/2 innings on Saturday night.

That game will be resumed at 1:07 p.m. Sunday and will be a regular nine-inning game. The series finale will follow 30 minutes after the completion of the suspended game and will be a seven-inning game.

The Blue Jays are scheduled to start right-hander Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.86 ERA) against Rays right-hander Yonny Chirinos (0-0, 1.04) in the series finale.

Toronto won the series opener Friday night 12-4, and the teams have split their first four meetings this season.

Chirinos will be reinstated from the injured list to start for the first time since Aug. 2. He was put on the IL Aug. 6 with triceps inflammation.

He is 2-0 with a 6.31 ERA in six career appearances (two starts) against the Blue Jays, including 1-0 with a 7.84 ERA as a visitor. He has pitched twice at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, when he was with Triple-A Durham in 2017-18, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in the two starts.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said that Chirinos could pitch three to five innings, but that there was no set limit.

“We’ll just see how he gets there,” Cash said on Saturday. “We’ve seen him do it where he gets on a run, where he’s really efficient. And if that’s the case and we look up (at the pitch count) after two, three, four innings and we want to tack on another inning and he’s feeling good, we hope to have the flexibility to do that.”

Shoemaker will make his fourth start of the season. At Tampa Bay on July 25, he allowed one run in six innings and did not factor into the decision in the 4-1 Tampa Bay win. He is 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.

Right-hander Thomas Hatch could be the pitcher for Toronto when the second game of the series resumes Sunday. Chase Anderson allowed one run in three innings Saturday on a home run by Austin Meadows. He was replaced by Wilmer Font in the top of the fourth and he pitched around a bunt single and a stolen base.

Because of the threatening weather, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said he used Font for one inning in case rain did interrupt the game. He wanted to keep Hatch available for multiple innings. “I didn’t want to lose my long guy,” Montoyo said. “Now Hatch is free to go full out.”

Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette extended his hitting streak to nine games with a third-inning single before the rain. He has homered in four straight games so that streak is still on the line. His three-run homer ended a 4-4 tie on Friday in the sixth inning.

“(Bichette is a) really talented player,” Cash said. “We don’t like it when he’s coming up to the plate with guys on base.”

Tampa Bay’s Brandon Lowe extended his hitting streak to seven games with a third-inning single on Saturday.

The Rays put left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado (left shoulder inflammation) on the injured list before the game Saturday. Right-hander Aaron Slegers was recalled from the taxi squad.

–Field Level Media

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