ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)Three Tampa Bay relievers combined on five more scoreless innings, Ji-Man Choi drove in three runs and the Rays won their fifth consecutive game, 7-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Andrew Kittredge (6-1) and Jeffrey Springs each worked two perfect innings, with Springs striking out five. J.P. Feyereisen allowed a one-out single in the ninth to Randal Grichuk before completing a five-hitter.
”They were just elite,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. ”To hold that offense to no runs when they came in says a lot.”
Five Rays relievers went seven hitless innings during a bullpen day in a 4-0 win over Cleveland in Game 2 of a doubleheader Wednesday.
Tampa Bay’s bullpen has an AL-best ERA of 2.80 since April 22.
”Everyone we got down there is really good,” Kittredge said. ”I think that’s kind of what everyone of us expects.”
Choi was hit by a pitch around the left knee with the bases loaded in the fourth and made it 5-1 with a sixth-inning two-run single. He also fouled a ball sharply off his right foot before drawing a walk during the third.
Blue Jays rookie Alek Manoah (2-1) went just 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, three hits, three walks, hitting two batters and striking out nine during an 88-pitch outing. The right-hander was coming off a start July 2 in which he had 10 strikeouts and limited the Rays to three hits over seven scoreless innings in an 11-1 win.
”He battled,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. ”Even though his line doesn’t sound that great, he impressed me today.”
Manoah ended his club record-tying streak of seven starts without a loss to begin a career. Jerry Garvin set the mark in 1977.
Austin Meadows flared a two-out, two-run single to right in the third that put the Rays up 2-1.
Taylor Walls had a two-run double in the seventh for Tampa Bay.
”We have to play a clean game to beat these guys,” Montoyo said. ”They’re one of the best teams in baseball and we didn’t do that today.”
Rays starter Shane McClanahan allowed a two-out, RBI single to George Springer in the third. The lefty avoided a pair of big innings by getting a two-out bases-loaded grounder from Grichuk in the first and striking him out with two on to end the third.
McClanahan lasted four innings, throwing a career-high 91 pitches. The rookie gave up one run, four hits, three walks and struck out five.
Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier was in the process of swinging when a bank of lights went out in the seventh. After the umpires met, it was decided that Kiermaier’s foul ball at the plate would count. He eventually walked.
Blue Jays LHP Steven Matz, who had his scheduled start Sunday pushed back to after the All-Star break following Thursday’s rainout at Baltimore, will be available as a reliever this weekend.
The Rays started play with an AL-best 3.55 ERA but don’t have an All-Star pitcher for the first time since 2009. INF Joey Wendle will be added to the AL squad on Saturday, joining Tampa Bay C Mike Zunino.
Blue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (forearm) could pitch in his second minor league game Saturday. … OF Corey Dickerson (left foot) is no longer using a walking boot.
Rays: RHPs Chris Archer (forearm) and Oliver Drake (right flexor) are throwing live BP and could soon start rehab assignments. … RHP Ryan Thompson (shoulder) was shut down from playing catch for a few days. … INF Mike Brosseau (oblique) went on the 10-day IL.
Toronto RHP Ross Stripling (3-4) and Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough (5-3) are Saturday’s starters.
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