Rays beat Blue Jays to extend winning streak to nine

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

source: reuters.com