Former Blue Jays prospect d'Arnaud lifts Rays to victory in series opener

Former Blue Jays prospect Travis d'Arnaud drove in a pair of runs to lift the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-1 victory over Toronto on Friday in the opener of a three-game series between division rivals.

30-year-old catcher was let go by Mets earlier this season

Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Tommy Pham completes a steal of second base past Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Freddy Galvis during the first inning in Toronto on Friday. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Jacob Waguespack feels like he's on the cusp of a breakout.

The rookie right-hander allowed just three runs over five innings Friday night in his third career start, but the Blue Jays' offence stalled once again in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

"I know I can compete at this level and I think my outings have just been a couple pitches I wish I could take back," Waguespack said. "A lot of guys will say that, but I think I'm close."

Waguespack (1-1) allowed six hits with three walks and two strikeouts and left the game after giving up a lead-off single to Nate Lowe in the sixth inning. The rookie right-hander threw 93 pitches, 54 for strikes.

"I'll watch the film and get with Pete (Walker, the Blue Jays' pitching coach) and see what I can improve on, but I know I'm close and can compete at this level," he said.

WATCH | Blue Jays drop series opener to Rays:

Travis d'Arnaud drove in a pair of runs as the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 in their series opener. 1:32

With changes possibly coming to Toronto's rotation on the cusp of next week's MLB trade deadline, manager Charlie Montoyo said Waguespack earned at least another start.

"He pitched well enough for him to go back again for his next outing and hopefully build on what he did today," Montoyo said. "The fact that we were still in the game when he left the game, that's all I can ask from our starters.

"He did a good job in my opinion."

d'Arnaud shinning with Rays

Former Blue Jays prospect Travis d'Arnaud drove in two of Tampa's three runs with a bases-loaded single in the fifth inning. The 30-year-old catcher, who was designated for assignment by the New York Mets earlier this season before landing with the Rays, has 18 runs batted in 16 games since July 1.

Austin Meadows drove in the other run on a triple in the third inning for Tampa Bay (59-47), which entered play 3 1/2 games back of Cleveland for the American League's first wild card.

Freddy Galvis had Toronto's lone RBI as the Blue Jays (39-66) dropped to 5-9 since the all-star break and 8-13 in the month of July.

Toronto, with its fifth consecutive games scoring three runs or fewer, dropped to 27 games below .500 for the first time this season.

"We were so hot for a while [offensively] but we're also facing good pitching. We have to make an adjustment," Montoyo said of his team's cold spell. "The Rays got good pitching, Cleveland has good pitching, we have to make an adjustment, we have to battle harder now and try to do better but we are facing good pitching."


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