Three-run eighth carries Rays past Blue Jays

Three-run eighth carries Rays past Blue Jays

Manuel Margot and Francisco Mejia each had RBI singles in the eighth inning and Brandon Lowe followed with a run-scoring triple as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Friday night at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Blue Jays took their fourth straight loss, spoiling a strong effort by starting pitcher Kevin Gausman.

Margot, who missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury, broke a 2-2 tie when his line drive between shortstop and third base drove in pinch runner Vidal Brujan. It was Margo’s 14th RBI in May.

Tim Mayza then took over for Gausman and got Wander Franco to ground into a double play. Mejia came on in as pinch hitter and singled home Taylor Walls to make it 4-2.

Lowe then hit his second triple of the night, scoring Mejia. He also tripled to lead off the second inning and scored on a fielder’s choice.

Tampa Bay reliever Jason Adam came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning for his first career save.

Gausman was strong through the first seven innings but ran into trouble in the eighth inning after the Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the inning Raimel Tapia singled home Vinny Capra.

Gausman (3-2) was unable to get an out in the eighth inning. He wound up charged with four runs (three earned) on five hits and one walk. Gausman struck out eight.

Tapia had two hits, the only Toronto player to have a multiple-hit game.

Andrew Kittredge (3-0) shut down the Blue Jays’ rally to earn the win with one scoreless inning.

Early on, the game was a pitcher’s duel. Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen held Toronto scoreless for the first five innings, but he was pulled after 5 2/3, having allowed three hits and one run while striking out one and walking one.

The Rays’ Mike Zunino hit an RBI single in the fifth to tie the game 1-1, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s run-scoring single in the sixth gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 edge.

Lowe and Zunino each had two hits for Tampa Bay.