|3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, September 7, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 12,663
Rays' Morton set to face Jays debutant Kay
Right-hander Charlie Morton will look to keep the Tampa Bay Rays rolling when he gets the start Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tampa Bay, the American League wild-card leader, will go for its ninth win in 10 games and third straight in the weekend series.
Morton (14-6, 3.06 ERA) returned to form last time out, allowing one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. He struck out eight and walked three.
"I think (catcher Mike Zunino) did a good job with the game plan going in and we tried some different things," Morton told MLB.com. "Some backdoor cutters, a couple of changeups there, I think we elevated pretty well. Just a little bit of a different look. But it went well."
In his two prior starts, he gave up a combined nine runs in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros.
In two starts against the Blue Jays this season, Morton is 0-1 with a 2.31 ERA. For his career, he is 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA in five starts vs. Toronto.
Blue Jays starter Anthony Kay will be making his major league debut. Kay, Toronto's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was acquired in July from the New York Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
"Good arm," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told MLB.com. "I just want to see him myself."
Kay, 24, went 10-8 with a 2.96 ERA in 26 starts in Double-A and Triple-A this season, including 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Buffalo after the trade.
"I feel like I lost my competitive edge a little bit (after Tommy John surgery in 2017) because everyone out there was just telling me, 'Go out there and pitch and don't worry about the result,'" Kay told the Toronto Star. "I figure this year I wanted to go out there and try and get that fire back and be as competitive as possible."
Brendan McKay and four Rays relievers combined for a two-hitter Friday in Tampa Bay's 5-0 win. The Blue Jays loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning, but Emilio Pagan came on to retire three straight hitters for his 19th save.
McKay worked 3 2/3 innings, striking out seven of the 12 batters he faced and allowing one of Toronto's hits.
Tampa Bay's Austin Meadows continued his hot streak, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Meadows has hit safely in six straight games, going 12-for-21 (.571) with three homers and seven RBIs.
The Rays' rotation is about to get stronger. Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (forearm strain) has been cleared to return and will be the opener on Sunday, and left-hander Blake Snell (left elbow surgery in July) will make a minor league rehab start on Saturday.
"To have those two guys back in the mix with the guys who we already have and everything going on, it's only going to make us better," McKay told the Tampa Bay Times.
The Blue Jays have lost five in a row and seven of the past eight.
"The (AL) East is no joke," Toronto starter and loser Clay Buchholz (1-4) told MLB.com. "Some tough lineups. ... Tonight, whenever I missed in the zone, it got hit."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 7, 2019