ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The first series of the season between Toronto and Tampa Bay goes to the Blue Jays, as they defeated the Rays Sunday afternoon 1-0. It was certainly a story of the pitching, keeping both teams’ bats at bay. There were 11 total hits between the two teams, but the difference was 17 total runners left on base– eight for the Jays and nine for the Rays.
“We couldn’t get anything going,” Cash said. “Couldn’t manufacture anything. Their pitching did a nice job. They lose (Hyun Jin) Ryu earlier than expected but they really pieced it together really well with their bullpen and kept our bats pretty quiet.”
The Rays were also 0-6 with runners in scoring position, while the Blue Jays were 1-6. Kevin Kiermaier was the only Rays player with multiple hits, finishing 2-4 at the plate. With that, Kiermaier extends his hit-streak to seven games.
On the mound, Luis Patino got the start in his Rays debut. He went two and two-thirds, striking out three and walking one. Josh Fleming came in after, giving up the one run on four hits and was tagged with the loss. Louis Head and Hunter Strickland finished out the final two shutout innings.
“(Fleming)’s been outstanding since he’s been here,” Cash said about their pitching performance Sunday. “It was very encouraging to see Luis and the type of fastball that he has, the shape to the breaking ball. A lot to like from the pitching– Louis Head too. That was a pretty big moment for him. That was awesome. And then Hunter. Our pitching did everything possible to keep us right there with one run. We just came up a little short on the offense.”
The Rays (11-11) continue their homestand Monday, when they open a four-game series with the Oakland A’s.