Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe, left, forces out Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Semien at second base and throws to to first base to complete a double play on a ball hit by Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the first inning of an American League baseball game in Toronto on Sept. 14, 2021. The Rays won 2-0.

Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press

On an offensive tear for most of the month, the scorching Toronto offence was finally cooled Tuesday night.

Ji-Man Choi and Brandon Lowe hit solo homers and five Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the Rays blanked the Blue Jays 2-0 to end their four-game winning streak. Rays starter Drew Rasmussen (3-1) threw five solid innings ahead of a relief crew that allowed just one hit.

“Their pitching did a great job to stop a hot offence,” said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.

Story continues below advertisement

The Blue Jays scored a whopping 52 runs over their streak, including an 8-1 rout of Tampa Bay in the series opener a night earlier at Rogers Centre. But the AL East-leading Rays rebounded nicely and didn’t let the Blue Jays put a rally together.

Andrew Kittredge worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save. It was Toronto’s second loss in its last 14 games.

“That’s why these two clubs are playing well, [it’s] because of pitching and defence,” Montoyo said.

Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios (11-8) was the hard-luck loser, giving up four hits and one earned run over seven innings.

He didn’t return for the eighth in a precautionary move. Berrios felt some abdominal tightness in his left side, Montoyo said, adding there were no plans for imaging work.

Toronto (81-64) entered play holding the first American League wild-card spot, one game up on the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The AL East Division-leading Rays (90-55), meanwhile, reached the 90-win plateau for the eighth time in 14 seasons.

Choi’s 10th homer of the season – a second-inning blast off the facing of the stadium’s 200 level – gave Tampa an early lead. Some nice Toronto defence prevented a second run from coming across in the frame.

Story continues below advertisement

With Randy Arozarena on third base with two out, shortstop Bo Bichette made a diving stab on a hard grounder and his quick release on the throw helped get Manuel Margot by a half-step.

Margot offered some defence of his own in the third inning with a diving catch in short centre field on Reese McGuire’s sinking liner.

The Blue Jays threatened in the fourth after George Springer led off with a double and Marcus Semien walked. Rasmussen responded by getting Toronto’s 3-4-5 hitters – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez – in order.

Lowe provided an insurance run in the eighth inning with his 34th homer of the season. He turned on a first-pitch slider from southpaw reliever Tim Mayza.

Rasmussen allowed two hits and a walk and had three strikeouts. Pete Fairbanks, JT Chargois, David Robertson and Kittredge worked an inning apiece for the Rays, who earned their second victory in six games.

“We smoked so many balls tonight but their defence was just right where they needed to be,” said McGuire. “So credit to them for positioning.”

Story continues below advertisement

Tampa Bay outhit Toronto 6-3 and neither team made an error. The rubber match in the three-game series is set for Wednesday afternoon.

NOTES

Announced attendance was 13,103. ... The retractable roof was closed in the eighth inning. ... The game was completed in a tidy two hours 20 minutes. ... Shortstop Bo Bichette was named Toronto’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. ... Toronto left-hander Robbie Ray (11-5, 2.69 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale against right-hander Michael Wacha (3-4, 5.37). ... The Blue Jays have an off-day Thursday before closing their six-game homestand with a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies