The Tampa Bay Rays (59-57) blew past the Toronto Blue Jays (52-63) 7-0 on Friday night in Toronto.
Manager Kevin Cash said before the game he wanted to get five innings of work out of Blake Snell as he continues his comeback from a left shoulder issue, and Snell (13-5, 2.18 ERA) made the absolute most of his five innings of work. He needed only 47 pitches to work five perfect innings in which he retired all 15 batters he faced, including six on strikeouts, and was impressive against a Toronto team that looked battle weary.
Jake Faria came in to work the sixth and allowed the first hit of the game to Luke Maile, who was the first batter he faced. All told Faria pitched three shutout innings, allowing three hits, before Jaime Schultz worked a flawless ninth inning.
While the pitching was making quick work of the Blue Jays offense, the Rays offense started with a bang and never looked back. Michael Perez blasted his first career home run in the third inning to give the Rays a 2-0 lead. Tampa Bay added insurance in the fifth, as Mallex Smith had an RBI triple, followed by a Joey Wendle sacrifice fly, to make the Rays 4-0. Ji-Man Choi blasted a home run in the sixth to make it 5-0, before Joey Wendle added two more RBIs on a double in the seventh and the Rays had an impressive seven run performance. Marco Estrada (5-9, 4.84 ERA) was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs, all of them earned, in five and a third innings of work for Toronto.
The Rays look to build on this win when they meet the Blue Jays in the second game of the three game series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 PM from the Rogers Centre, but may be delayed due to the Blue Jays honoring the 1993 World Series team. Coverage will begin with Steve Carney and the Inside Pitch at 3 on 620 WDAE & 95.3 FM throughout Tampa Bay.