Manuel Margot’s tiebreaking single in the eighth plated Randy Arozarena on Saturday night as the Tampa Bay Rays pushed their major-league-best winning streak to nine games, beating the host Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 in Dunedin, Fla.
Against Anthony Castro (0-1) in the eighth, Arozarena singled to center, advanced on a groundout, hustled to third on a wild pitch and scored on Margot’s sharp single to left.
Margot (stolen base), Mike Zunino (homer, double) and new shortstop Taylor Walls (two doubles, run) each went 2-for-4 for the Rays, who are 15-3 in their past 18 road games.
Walls, 24, contributed five assists and started two double plays in his major-league debut. He also committed an error.
Reliever Andrew Kittredge (5-0) tossed a scoreless seventh to take the staff lead in victories.
Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier went 0-for-1 and departed the game after four innings with left eye irritation.
In a solid no-decision for the Rays, starter Shane McClanahan allowed only one run on four hits over five innings, with two walks and four strikeouts.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 2-for-4 in his return to the lineup and Teo Hernandez doubled in a run for Toronto, which lost its fourth straight.
The home side received a sharp seven-inning start left-hander from Robbie Ray, who surrendered one run on five hits while striking out seven without a walk.
The left-handed McClanahan got into trouble in the bottom of the first when he walked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with two outs and the bases empty. Hernandez then sliced an opposite-field drive that banged off the right field wall and back toward the infield — a double that allowed Guerrero to score.
Outscoring the opposition 72-30 and hitting at a .305 clip, Tampa Bay entered the contest averaging nine runs per game during the winning streak. But Ray buzzed through the lineup though the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing just a second-inning double to Ji-Man Choi.
However, Zunino clubbed a change-up to left for his team-best 11th homer to knot it 1-1 in the fifth. Walls then followed by shooting a double off the wall in right for his first big-league hit, but Ray retired the next two batters.
The Rays added an insurance marker when Walls doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Jansen’s second throwing error in the ninth.
Diego Castillo recorded his eighth save in 10 chances with a scoreless ninth.
–Field Level Media