Rays edge Blue Jays in ninth


ST. PETERS­BURG, Fla. — Matt Duffy saved his best for last.

Duffy’s ground ball found a hole be­tween third and short with two outs in the bot­tom of the ninth in­ning Wed­nes­day and drove in the game’s only run in Tampa Bay’s win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Af­ter see­ing that many ze­roes, it’s def­i­nitely awesome to come out on top in that game,” Duffy said af­ter a game in which eight pitch­ers gave up a to­tal of 10 hits.

Duffy drove in Mallex Smith, who dou­bled with one out and moved to third base on a ground­out.

Diego Castillo (1-0) got his first ma­jor league win af­ter pitch­ing two in­nings of re­lief.

Ryan Tepera (3-2) pitched the fi­nal 12/3 in­nings for the Jays, who were swept in the three-game se­ries and have lost five of six to the Rays this sea­son. It was the 12th time the Blue Jays have scored one run or none this sea­son, and for the first time since Au­gust 2011, they were held with­out an ex­tra-base hit for a sec­ond straight game.

“I have no ex­pla­na­tion for it. It’s the way it is,” Toronto man­ager John Gib­bons said.

Cur­tis Gran­der­son had the first three of Toronto’s five hits, lead­off sin­gles in the first, third and fifth in­nings, and was the only run­ner to reach third base un­til Smith in the ninth. With two outs in the Toronto ninth, Alde­mys Diaz hit a line drive off Castillo that was caught by left fielder Johnny Field near the top of the wall, the best-hit ball of the game by far.

“Luck­ily, I was play­ing deep and it was high enough that it didn’t seem like one of those no-doubters off the bat,” Field said. “He got un­der it just enough to give me a chance to get back there.”

Toronto starter J.A. Happ al­lowed one hit and three walks in five in­nings. He was lifted af­ter throw­ing 98 pitches, 30 in the first in­ning.

“I try to give credit where credit is due. I thought they did a good job of foul­ing some good pitches off,” said Happ. “They made it dif­fi­cult. Cer­tainly, I’d like to go more than five in­nings, but I was happy to keep them off the board.”

Rays starter Wilmer Font gave up two hits in 31/3 in­nings, and Matt An­driese gave up two hits in 32/3 in­nings.

“That’s two days in a row now that the bullpen came in and re­ally picked us up in a big way,” said Rays man­ager Kevin Cash. “They pieced it to­gether re­ally well.”

Trainer’s room

Blue Jays 3B Josh Don­ald­son (left calf tight­ness) will run the bases Thurs­day and if all goes well could join Triple-A Buf­falo on Fri­day.

Up next

Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.33 ERA) will pitch Fri­day night against the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als in the open­ing game of a five-game home­s­tand.

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