Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Tampa Bay Rays’ historic start finally ends in a loss to Toronto

Associated Press2 minute reading

TORONTO — The Tampa Bay Rays lost their first game after a 13-0 deficit as Collin Boche forced in two runs with a bases-loaded walk and second baseman Brandon Lowe made a key error in a four-run fifth inning. The Toronto Blue Jays won 6-3 on Friday night.

George Springer hit a leadoff home run and Bo Pichette had five hits and an RBI to deny the Blue Jays a bid to establish Major League Baseball’s post-1900 record for consecutive wins in a season opener.

Toronto’s 13–0 record matched that of the 1982 Atlanta Braves and 1987 Milwaukee Brewers, trailing only the 20–0 start of the Union Association’s 1884 St. Louis Maroons.

Tampa Bay trailed six times entering Friday at the end of an inning. Against the Blue Jays they trailed after nine.

Springer homered on his second pitch of the night from Drew Rasmussen (2-1), who had pitched 13 innings in his first two starts. Springer’s 53rd leadoff homer tied Craig Biggio for third, Ricky Henderson’s 81 and Alfonso Soriano’s 54.

Pichette followed with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead and his 500th hit. He reached the milestone in his 407th game, surpassing the previous Blue Jays mark shared by Vernon Wells and Shannon Stewart.

Luke Raleigh cut the lead in half with an RBI single in the fourth, but Boche was relieved with the bases loaded in the fifth and walked pinch-hitter Alejandro Kirk on four pitches and Santiago Espinal on five. Danny Johnson hit Vander Franco with an inning-ending double play.

Rasmussen allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Jose Berrios (1-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings, leaving in his final inning with a two-strike injury to his left knee. Manuel Marcotte’s leadoff liner went off Berrios’ left foot into foul territory. Three batters later, a Yandy Diaz comebacker hit Berios in the knee.

Trevor Richards got two outs in the sixth and Zach Bob struck out Isaac Paredes, putting runners on first and second.

After Yimi Garcia gave up back-to-back homers to Josh Lowe and Christian Bethancourt in the seventh, Eric Swanson pitched a scoreless eighth and Jordan Romano finished with his fifth save in six innings.

Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier went 2 for 4 in his first appearance against his former team. The three-time Gold Glove Award winner spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Rays.

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