The Tampa Bay Rays once again took control of their playoff run, as Travis d'Arnaud's two-run single broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Rays a 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Friday at Rogers Centre.
With the staff scrambling after the snnouncement Thursday at Blake Snell would miss at least a month due to elbow surgery, Tampa Bay moved Diego Castillo, who had worked the eighth inning most of the year, into the opener's role, and the right-hander responded well, needing just ten pitches for a 1-2-3 first inning, which included a strikeout of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Tampa Bay took the lead in the third, as Tommy Pham drew a two-out walk from Jacob Waguespack, and Austin Meadows, who came into the night hitting .480 against Toronto's pitching, tripled into the right-field corner to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Toronto tied the game in the home half of the fourth, when Justin SMoak and Randal Grichuk each singled off Ryan Yarbrough. Freddy Galvis then lined an offering down the left field line, which Pham had go off his glove and into the seats. The misplay actually saved Tampa Bay, as Grichuk, who was likely going to score, was forced to go back to third base, and instead of being down 2-1, Tampa Bay maintained the tie game, and Yarbrough got Danny Jansen to fly out to keep the game at 1-1.
Tampa Bay then loaded the bases against Waguespack in the fifth, thanks to a one-out walk to Willy Adames and a base hit by Ji-Man Choi, followed by a two-out walk to Meadows. d'Arnaud then singled to left, scoring both Adames and Choi, though the Rays catcher was thrown out trying to get into scoring position on the throw.
The two-run lead would be more than ebnough for Yarbrough, who worked one out into the seventh. Chaz Roe finished the inning and worked a scoreless eighth, and Colin Poche posted a perfect ninth inning to eanr his first big league save.
The win, coupled with Oakland's 5-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, moved the Rays back into the second wild card spot by one-half game over both the Athletics and the Boston Red Sox, who again defeated the New York Yankees.
Tampa Bay Rays (59-47) at Toronto Blue Jays (39-66), 3:07 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 2:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: TBA
Blue Jays starter: RHP Ryan Borucki (0-1, 3.86 ERA)