Springer 2 homers, Blue Jays beat Rays 7-1 for 4-game split
Toronto Blue Jays' George Springer, center, celebrates with teammate Ric Tapia (15) after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
Mark Didtler, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, September 25, 2022 4:33PM EDT
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - George Springer homered twice, Alejandro Kirk and Teoscar Hernandez also went deep and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 on Sunday to gain a foiur-game split.
Toronto (86-67) opered a two game lead over Tampa Bay (84-69) for the top wild card with nine games left. Seattle (83-68) also was two games back, pending its game at Kansas City later Sunday.
Toronto allowed 20 runs in losing the first two games, but limited Tampa Bay to a total of two runs in winning the final two.
Ross Stripling (9-4) allowed one run and six hits in five innings. Zach Pop, Adam Cimber, Trevor Richards and Yusei Kikuchi combimed to give up one hit over four innings.
Rays All-Star Shane McClanahan (12-7), who was pulled in the fifth inning of his previous start ue to neck tightness, gave up four runs and six hits, including a career-high three homers, over five innings.
Springer had a two-run shot in the third, and added a fifth-inning solo drive for his 23rd homer this season as the Blue Jays took a 4-1 lead. He finished with three hits in his 20th career multihomer game.
Kirk had a solo homer during the second, and Hernandez made it 6-1 with a two-run homer in the eighth off Garrett Cleavinger.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a ninth-inning RBI single.
Randy Arozarena pulled the Rays to 3-1 on a sacrifice fly in the third.
Sunday's announced crowd was 16,394, giving the Rays a final home attendance for the season of 1,128,127. The total will be the third lowest in the majors. Tampa Bay drew 1,178,735 in 2019, the least year before two seasons with COVID attendance restrictions in place. The Rays have drawn under 1.3 million at home every year since 2015.
Springer has three homers in 13 at-bats against McClanahan. ... Rays SS Wander Franco extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games with a third-inning single... Tampa Bay 1B Harold Ramirez had three hits.
Retiring Rays bullpen coach Stan Boroski and major league medical coordinator Paul Harker threw ceremonial first pitches. Boroski is in his 13th season with the team, while Harker joined the Rays for their inaugural season in 1998.
Rays: 3B Yandy Diaz (left shoulder) was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game but could start Tuesday. â€¦ RHP Tyler Glasnow (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to rejoin the rotation Wednesday night at Cleveland.
Blue Jays: Open a home series Monday night against the New York Yankees.
Rays: RHP Corey Kluber (10-9) will pitch in Cleveland for first since leaving the team after the 2019 season. Kluber, who won the AL Cy Young Award with Cleveland in 2014 and 17, will face RHP Shane Bieber (12-8).