Randy Arozarena drove in runs in the first and third innings as the Tampa Bay Rays held on for a 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Both times Arozarena hit into a fielder’s choice to score Yandy Diaz to give Tampa (79-61) the early lead. Manuel Margot had an RBI single to score Arozarena and David Peralta’s sacrifice fly brought in Wander Franco in the third to put the Rays up 4-0.
Jeffrey Springs (8-4) pitched six scoreless innings, striking out five and allowing only three hits. Shawn Armstrong and Pete Fairbanks came on in relief.
Matt Chapman hit an RBI single to lead Toronto’s offence, with Alejandro Kirk driving in a run with a groundout.
Ace Alek Manoah (14-7) was scheduled to start the afternoon game for the Blue Jays (79-62), but was scratched due to a stomach ailment. Toronto interim manager John Schneider said after the first game that Manoah had recovered enough to take the mound in the evening.
Relief pitcher Julian Merryweather (0-3) served as Toronto’s “opener” in Manoah’s absence, pitching one inning and allowing a run on two hits.
Mitch White, called up to be the Blue Jays’ 29th man for the doubleheader, threw six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out two. David Phelps had two innings of scoreless relief.
White expected to be the starting pitcher in the second game of the doubleheader, said he woke up at 10 a.m. to a call from Mike Shaw, the Blue Jays director of team travel and clubhouse operations, telling him he’d actually be pitching in three hours, not nine.
“I was like ‘All right, let’s get going, let’s go,”‘ said White. “I called an Uber, got to the field. It wasn’t that big a deal. It’s just that initial shock.”
The win put the Rays back ahead of Toronto in the American League wild-card race. The Blue Jays had taken a half-game lead thanks to Monday’s 3-2 win in the opener of their five-game series.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette started the eighth inning with back-to-back singles. Bichette’s hit advanced Guerrero to third. Kirk’s groundout to the pitcher pushed Bichette to second and gave Guerrero enough time to score.
Chapman chipped away at that lead two at-bats later, singling to left field to bring in Bichette and cut Tampa’s lead to 4-2.
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