ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)Robbie Ray took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Tampa Bay 3-1 Sunday, ending the Rays’ six-game winning streak.
The left-hander’s bid ended with one out when Yandy Diaz was awarded a double after a fan reached over the left-field fence and tried to catch his drive. If the ball had not been interfered with, it would have struck the wall and not been catchable by left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
”I felt good on the mound, I felt really good with my pitches,” Ray said. ”About maybe the fifth inning where I was like, `OK it’s a possibility.’ Just felt like my fastball was really good today. I felt like I was able to pretty much put where I wanted to.”
Diaz’s hit underwent a video review to confirm it was a double and not a homer.
”It was a double, and thankfully a hit at that time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Ray (7-4) allowed one hit and one walk, while striking out 11 in seven innings. It was his ninth game this season of nine or more strikeouts, tying New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom for most in the majors.”
Ray threw 71 of 103 pitches for strikes, mixing in mid-90 mph fastballs and an upper 80’s slider.
”Oh man, Robbie Ray was bringing it today,” said Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, who hit a solo homer.
”It was awesome,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo added. ”It was fun to watch.”
Ray enters the All-Star break with 130 strikeouts. Only Roger Clemens, with 140 in 1997, had more in Blue Jays history at the break.
Tim Mayza worked a perfect eighth. Jordan Romano gave up Brandon Lowe’s solo homer and a single to Diaz before getting his seventh save in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.
The AL champion Rays are second in the AL East, 1 1/2 games in back of Boston. Toronto is eight games behind the Red Sox.
Lowe has seven homers in his last nine games, and a career-high 21 overall.
Jansen put the Blue Jays up 1-0 during the third with his fourth homer.
Santiago Espinal had an RBI single and Cavan Biggio hit a sacrifice fly as the Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead in the fourth.
Rich Hill (6-4) gave up three runs and four hits in five innings.
Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette had an infield single in four at-bats in his 162nd MLB game. Through that many games, Bichette leads the franchise in hits (203), runs (121), RBIs (101) and extra-base hits (79).
Rays minor leaguer Tyler Zombro, struck in the head by a line drive June 3 while pitching for Triple-A Durham, said on his Twitter account this weekend that he continues making progress in his recovery.
”To everyone who continues to reach out about my progress, thank you! Over the last couple of weeks my cognitive function has improved greatly, and I have tested out of both speech and occupational therapy. I continue PT sessions with concussion specialists at Duke.”
The Rays entered Sunday with an AL-best ERA of 3.51 and will be adding depth over the next month.
RHP Chris Archer (right forearm tightness) will pitch for the minor league FCL Rays Monday, with RHP Oliver Drake (right flexor tendon strain) following him on Tuesday.
RHP Ryan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) is nearing a rehab assignment, and RHP Nick Anderson (right elbow strain) is throwing off a mound.
The Blue Jays’ first ended on a double-play that started when first baseman Ji-Man Choi made a nifty grab on a low and hard liner off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The slugger stood silently near the plate for a few seconds afterwards glancing down the first-base line with a look of disbelief.
Blue Jays: Start a three-game home series in Buffalo, New York, on Friday night against Texas.
Rays: Begin a three-game trip Friday night at Atlanta.
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