Stewart solid in relief, Blue Jays beat Rays 4-3


Tampa Bay Rays’ Mike Zunino, right, shakes hands with Kevin Kiermaier (39) after Zunino hit a two-run home run off Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Ken Giles during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Reliever Brock Stewart allowed two hits over four scoreless innings in his Toronto debut as the Blue Jays withstood a late Tampa Bay rally to beat the Rays 4-3 in a bullpen day Wednesday.

Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette set a team record with a double in eight straight games, breaking the mark of seven set by Carlos Delgado in 2000. The 21-year-old Bichette also extended his career-opening hitting streak to 10 games.

Stewart (1-0), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, followed opener Wilmer Font, who gave up one hit over 2 1/3 innings.

After Tim Mayza allowed Avisail Garcia’s RBI single before getting the final out in the eighth, Ken Giles gave up Mike Zunino’s two-run homer in the ninth before finishing for his 15th save.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk and Derek Fisher homered for the Blue Jays, who were winless in the last 10 series (0-9-1) against Tampa Bay before taking two of three at Tropicana Field. Toronto went 7-3 on a 10-game road trip.

Rays two-way player Brendan McKay (2-2) gave up three runs and six hits in five-plus innings. Tampa Bay has won nine of its last 12.

Gurriel put the Blue Jays up 1-0 on a fourth-inning homer. Since returning from Triple-A Buffalo May 24, he has homered 19 times in 65 games.

Grichuk made it 2-0 on his 19th homer off McKay leading off the sixth.

Justin Smoak singled to end McKay’s day after a career-high 93 pitches and scored on Fisher’s two-run drive off Colin Poche.

Toronto is among the major league leaders home runs since June 16 with 91.


Rays manager Kevin Cash didn’t rule completely it out but indicated that the two-way McKay won’t be used as a hitter except when pitching in NL parks due to rotation injuries. AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (left elbow), Tyler Glasnow (right forearm) and Yonny Chirinos (finger) are all out until at least September. McKay is lined up to start next week at San Diego.


Blue Jays: Manager Charlie Montoyo said LHP Ryan Borucki (left elbow inflammation) was being examined Wednesday by Dr. James Andrews. Borucki has appeared in only two games in 2019. … 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and 2B Cavan Biggio were both got the day off.


Blue Jays: LHP Thomas Pannone (2-4) faces New York Yankees RHP Domingo German (14-2) Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.

Rays: A starter has not been announced for Friday night’s game at Seattle.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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