Rays spoil pitcher Anthony Kay's MLB debut with Blue Jays

Travis d'Arnaud and Daniel Robertson drove in runs with two outs in the eighth inning, helping the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-3 win over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.

Tampa sends Toronto to 6th straight loss in comeback fashion

Tampa Bay Rays' Travis d'Arnaud, left, celebrates his RBI-sacrifice fly off Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Ryan Tepera with first base coach Ozzie Timmons during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/The Associated Press)

Daniel Robertson came up with the big hits for the Tampa Bay Rays in the team's 144th game of the season.

Robertson drove in runs with a double in the seventh inning and a single in the eighth as the Rays beat the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Saturday night.

"There's going to be a different guy every night with this roster we have," Robertson said. "You've just got to be ready when you're called upon, but that is a great feeling. … Failing and then doing it, that's pretty cool, too."

The 25-year-old infielder has struggled through a season of slumps and injuries, in the majors and the minors, and came into Saturday's game with a .203 batting average.

"He's probably had more downs than ups to this point," manager Kevin Cash said, "but like we've said to everybody: You're here, you're here to help us win and you can kind of forget the [first] five months of the season.

We've put ourselves in position for the sixth month now. It's all hands on deck."

WATCH | Rays ruin Kay's debut:

Anthony Kay looked pretty good in his MLB debut striking out 8 but the Rays were able to score a pair late to seal the 5-3 victory. 1:19

Travis d'Arnaud and Robertson drove in the decisive runs with two outs in the eighth inning, helping Tampa Bay to its ninth win in 10 games.

In the eighth, Jordan Romano (0-2) walked pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier hit a double. D'Arnoud lofted a pinch-hit sacrifice fly that scored pinch-runner Michael Brosseau and broke a 3-3 tie. Robertson, whose double had tied the game in the seventh, hit a single off Ryan Tepera that drove in Kiermaier with an insurance run.

Nick Anderson (5-4) got the win and Oliver Drake struck out three straight for his second save in three tries for the Rays, who are battling Oakland and Cleveland for the American League wild-card spots.

Jays falter despite Kay's strong outing

The Blue Jays lost their six straight despite a strong outing by Anthony Kay in his major league debut.

Consecutive singles by Avisail Garcia, Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows produced Tampa Bay's first run off Kay in the fourth inning, and the rookie walked in another run. But Kay struck out Kiermaier and Mike Zunino with the bases loaded, thwarting a possible big inning by the Rays.

The 24-year-old left-hander, acquired from the New York Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade of July 28, gave up four hits and three walks while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings.

"He's a bulldog on the mound. He pitches inside, he changes speeds. He did a great job," said Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo. "Eight strikeouts against a good lineup. He was awesome. I wanted to say 'wow' and he was wow."

Kay became the 19th starting pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season, tied for second-most in American League history behind the 24 used in 1915 by the Philadelphia Athletics.

"It hasn't sunk in fully yet," Kay said. "Just having my friends and family here, I think, makes it the most special. It was really cool."

Rays starter Charlie Morton was dominant until the sixth, when he gave up four hits and a walk. Bases-loaded singles by Reese McGuire and Jonathan Davis drove in two runs, and Billy McKinney drove in a third with a 400-foot fly ball, giving Toronto a 3-2 lead before Morton finished his outing with his 10th strikeout.

Morton went six innings, reaching a career high of 176 1/3 innings in his 30th start. He gave up three runs on five hits and three walks.


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