MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Toronto0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 021
Tampa Bay1 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 x 590
  W: P. Fairbanks (1-2)   L: C. Buchholz (1-4)   S: E. Pagán (19)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 6, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 10,853

Rays continue wild-card push vs. visiting Jays

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. The Blue Jays took two of three from the Rays in St. Petersburg from Aug. 5-7 for their first series win at Tropicana Field since May 5-7, 2017. Toronto has not won back-to-back series on the road against Tampa Bay since a run of seven straight from 2005-07. The Jays are 36-70 (.340) at the Trop since 2008.
  2. The Rays' 2-0 win in Tuesday's doubleheader nightcap against the Orioles marked the 46th time this season they have not allowed a home run, tops in the American League. Tampa Bay is also tied with the Nationals and Cardinals for the most wins (37) in games in which they have not given up a homer.
  3. Tommy Pham is one stolen base away from becoming the first Rays player since Melvin Upton Jr. in 2012 with 20 homers and 20 steals in a season. Pham previously accomplished the feat with the Cardinals in 2017. Only six players (Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, Jose Ramirez, Mike Trout, Christian Yelich) have recorded two 20/20 seasons over the last three years.
  4. Toronto's catching duo of Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire have combined for eight homers, a .255 average and a .816 OPS since Aug. 1. Blue Jays catchers had hit a collective .190 with a .577 OPS from the start of the season through July 31.
  5. Austin Meadows is slashing .420/.491/.800 with five homers and 12 RBI in 12 games against Toronto this season. Three of those homers have come in seven at-bats against Thursday's starter, Trent Thornton.
  6. Clay Buchholz is slated to make his first start at Tropicana Field since 2016 on Friday. Buchholz's career 1.87 ERA at the Trop is the lowest in the park's history (min. 10 starts), and he's gone eight consecutive starts there without allowing a home run.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/5/2019 thru 9/8/2019

Seven wins in the past eight games have vaulted the Tampa Bay Rays to the top of the American League wild-card standings. However, their margin for error remains minuscule.

The Rays can tighten their grip on a playoff position Friday night, when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the second game of a four-game series. Left-handed two-way rookie Brendan McKay (2-3, 5.55 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Tampa Bay against Toronto right-hander Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.45 ERA).

The Rays won the series opener 6-4 Thursday night as Austin Meadows hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and added an RBI double in the eighth.

The Rays, who were a game out of the second wild card on the morning of Aug. 30, are a half-game ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the race for home field in the one-game playoff, scheduled for Oct. 2. The Cleveland Indians are a game behind the A's.

"Teams have been playing us pretty tough lately," Meadows said after the Thursday game. "The pitching has been really good. We just continue to grind and continue to get out there and win games, because that's the important thing right now."

While the Rays won the grind Thursday night, the most impressive performance of the evening likely belonged to Blue Jays rookie shortstop Bo Bichette, who hit two homers and finished with three RBIs. Bichette opened the game by homering off Tampa Bay starter Austin Pruitt to cap a 13-pitch at-bat in which Bichette fouled off seven straight pitches and nine overall before going deep.

Bichette, the son of former Colorado Rockies star Dante Bichette, is now batting .329 with 10 homers and 17 RBIs in 34 games.

"I keep waiting for him to struggle a little bit because he's only human, and he keeps doing what he's doing," first-year Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said postgame. "It's been fun to watch."

McKay will be making his ninth career start and his 11th appearance overall. It will be his first pitching stint in the bigs since Aug. 19, when he took the loss against the Seattle Mariners after allowing seven runs (three earned) over two innings as the Rays fell 9-3.

McKay closed out August on the minor league injured list due to left shoulder fatigue. He is also 0-for-5 in three games as a batter -- one game as the starting pitcher at the San Diego on Aug. 13, one game as a starting designated hitter and one game when he entered as a pinch runner and stayed in as a DH.

Buchholz earned his first win of the season in his most recent appearance, when he gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings as the Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Aug. 31.

McKay lost his only start against the Blue Jays on Aug. 7, when he allowed three runs over five-plus innings as the Rays were handed a 4-3 defeat. Buchholz is 9-8 with a 2.62 ERA in 24 career games (24 starts) against Tampa Bay.

Toronto has lost four games in a row and six of the past seven.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 6, 2019

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