The Tampa Bay Rays extended their winning streak to 11, and became the first American League team to get 30 wins, after an 11-inning 14-8 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the last game for the Jays at their spring training ballpark in Dunedin on Monday.
Francisco Mejia provided the go-ahead runs in the 11th with a two-run single, and then the Rays added five more in the inning to put the game out of reach.
The Rays had scored two in their half of the 10th inning, but Marcus Semien tied the game with a two-run homer off Rays' reliever and winner Jeffrey Springs in the bottom of the inning.
The Rays jumped out to a first-inning 5-0 lead, powered by a Joey Wendle grand slam. But the Blue Jays slowly chipped away at the lead off Ryan Yarbrough, who pitched well in his six innings, allowing only three hits, all solo homers, to Lourdes Gurriel in the second, and back-to-back homers to Vlad Guerrero and Teoscar Hernandez in the fourth.
Ross Stripling kept the Rays bats at bay after coming on in relief for Jays' starter Trent Thornton in the second inning, holding the Rays to two hits in the seven innings he pitched. After Thornton walked Rays shortstop Taylor Walls to bring across Randy Arozarena with the Rays' first run, Jays pitching coach Pete Walker was ejected for arguing the call. Wendle then followed with the slam.
The Jays were able to extend the game in the eighth. Rowdy Tellez led off the bottom of the eighth with a wind-blown triple that Rays' CF Kevin Kiermaier had difficulty tracking. But Collin McHugh, who had relieved Yarbrough to start the seventh, proceeded to strike out both Semien and Bo Bichette. McHugh gave way to Ryan Thompson, who then surrendered Guerrero's second homer to tie the game at 5.
Rays' first baseman Ji-Man Choi left the game in the fifth inning after experiencing soreness in his right knee, the same knee that kept him on the IL to start the season. But after the game, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said Ji-Man would be all right.
With the win, Tampa Bay extended their major-league best road record to 19-7, including a perfect 8-0 on this short trip through Baltimore and Dunedin.
Tuesday, the Rays will send Rich Hill to the mound to face Kansas City and its starter Brad Keller. Coverage starts on 95.3 WDAE with Jay Recher and the Inside Pitch at 6 p.m., followed by Neil Solondz and the Rays pregame show at 6:30. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
Photo: Getty Images