Meadows Again Leads Barrage To Take Opener From Jays

ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- After a 4 for 4 day Sunday that saw him go deep, Austin Meadows had another three hits Monday including a two-run homer and drove in three, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.

Meadows led off the game with a base hit against Aaron Sanchez but was stranded at third base to end the frame, then gave the Rays the lead an inning later, driving in Travis d'Arnaud with a base hit after the catcher singled with one out and moved into scoring position via a Daniel Robertson groundout.

Jays starter Aaron Sanchez (3-5) would limit the damage in the inning to just the one run, but would be forced to exit the game after just three innings with what the team called an avulsion under one of the fingernails on his right hand, Jacob Waguespack would make his major league debut to start the fourth, allowing a leadoff double to d'Arnaud who would score three batters later on a double by Tommy Pham. Ji-Man Choi then drove in Pham with a base hit and when catcher Luke Maile's throw to try and get Choi taking an extra base on the play sailed into right-center, the Tampa Bay first baseman was able to round the bases for a 4-0 advantage.

 

Yonny Chirinos (6-1), who manager Kevin Cash said prior to the game would be on a pitch limit of around 70 pitches to manage his workload, ended up completing five no-hit innings in 69 pitches, allowing just two walks and striking out seven. Luke Maile's single leading off the sixth against Oliver Drake would end the no-hit bid, though Drake and Chaz Roe would maintain the shutout.

The Blue Jays would get on the scoreboard in the seventh, when Jonathan Davis blasted his first big league home run, a two-run blast off Hunter Wood, to cut the lead back to 4-2.

Tampa Bay would extend their lead back out in the home half of the eighth, as Kevin Kiermaier led off the inning with an infield single off former Rays' farmhand Zac Rosscup, and d'Arnaud followed with a double that went off Rosscup's glove and got past third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Charlie Montoyo then went to Sam Gaviglio to face Robertson, and the move backfied, as Robertson doubled in both runners, and Meadows followed with a massive home run to the concourse beyond the right field seats, his eleventh of the year which ties Brandon Lowe for the team lead.

 

Adam Kolarek allowed a one-out solo homer to Freddy Galvis in the ninth that made the score 8-3, but no further damage as he finished out the game.

The win keeps Tampa Bay two games behind the Yankees for the lead in the American League East. They have now won five of their last six games to get to a season-best 13 games over .500.

TUESDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (32-19) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (21-33), 7:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.

Rays starter: RHP Ryne Stanek (0-1, 3.18 ERA)

Blue Jays starter: LHP Clayton Richard (0-0, 2.25 ERA)

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