The Tampa Bay Rays (35-14) defeated the Toronto Blue Jay (25-23) 6-4 on Monday night at Tropicana Field.
After an error on Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr allowed the Rays to take a 1-0 lead in the second, Jose Siri hit a two-run blast to give the Rays a 3-0 lead. Isaac Peredes drove in a run in the third to make it 4-0 before Toronto got their first runs of the game.
Whit Merrifield got the Blue Jays on the board with a two-run homer in the fourth inning to pull Toronto within 4-2. The Rays answered with solo homers from Randy Arozarena in the sixth and Luke Raley in the seventh to give Tampa Bay a four-run lead back.
Toronto got a monster home run from Daulton Varsho to pull the Blue Jays within 6-3 in the top of the ninth, before Branton Belt hit a RBI single to pull within 6-4. The Blue Jays got the bases loaded after George Springer took a walk from Rays closer Pete Fairbanks, but Fairbanks got Bo Bichette to hit a soft ground ball back to the mound to close down the win. For Fairbanks, it was his fifth save of the season.
Kevin Kelley allowed two hits in two shutout innings as the opener, before giving way to Josh Fleming. Fleming (1-0, 3.59) was very good as the bulk guy for the Rays, allowing two earned runs on five hits in six innings out of the bullpen in which he struck out two and walked one.
The Rays and Blue Jays now meet in the second game of their four game series on Tuesday night. Taj Bradley (3-0, 3.54) is scheduled to start for the Rays, and is expected to be opposed by Jose Berrios for Toronto. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM - Inside Pitch with Ronnie & T-Kras begins pregame coverage at 5:30 PM on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620, your Home of Rays Baseball.
COVER PHOTO COURTESY GETTY IMAGES