Rays use bullpen to beat Blue Jays 9-4 for 90th win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays found success with a new pitching formula.

Ryan Yarbrough got his rookie-leading 16th win and the Rays turned another bullpen game into their 90th victory, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Sunday.

The Rays (90-72) went to the unconventional plan of using relievers to open games in addition to traditional starters in mid-May because of injuries.

The results were about equal, as Tampa Bay went 46-38 with regular starters and 44-34 when utilizing the bullpen, and the trend began to take hold around the majors. But no team did it as often as the Rays.

''I don't think you can really argue with the results we've had with it, and not just with me but with other guys too,'' Yarbrough said. ''For it to work that well was a big blessing, and you never know, if it didn't work that well, we'd never know where we could be right now.''

Ryne Stanek was Tampa Bay's ''opener'' for the 29th time and went two scoreless innings. Yarbrough (16-6) followed and gave up two runs and four hits over three innings to get his 14th relief win.

Austin Pruitt went the final 3 1/3 innings to pick up his fourth save. He's gone three or more innings in four of his five career saves.

The Rays went 87-60 after losing 12 of their first 15 games.

''Hopefully the groundwork has been laid,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ''The core group that has gotten some opportunities, played at a really high level, learned how to win together.''

Outgoing Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to have some fun in the finale and let 35-year-old catcher Russell Martin manage the game.

Martin said he ''thought about it for a couple seconds'' before deciding to keep himself on the bench, declining the opportunity to serve as a player-manager.

''It was fun,'' Martin said. ''Didn't realize how much went into it. A cool experience. It's tougher than it looks.''

Toronto announced Wednesday that Gibbons will not be back as manager next season.

''He's one of my favorites,'' Martin said. ''I'm going to miss him. He's a special guy. He's kind of like having a second dad.''

Over two stints totaling 11 seasons, Gibbons went 793-789 with the Blue Jays.

Toronto finished 73-89, a three-game drop from 2017.

Tampa Bay improved 10 games from last year and joined the 2012 Rays (90) and 2013 Texas Rangers (91) as the only 90-win teams since the second wild card was introduced in 2012 to miss the postseason.

Joey Wendle and Jake Bauers both had two RBIs for the Rays, who went 13-6 against Toronto. Tampa Bay has dominated the series at home, going 111-74.

Sam Gaviglio (3-10) allowed five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.

SEATS AVAILABLE

Despite the strong on-field showing, the Rays' announced home attendance of 1,154,973 was their lowest since 2005 (1,141,699). Tampa Bay drew 1,253,619 last season. Sunday's crowd was 13,313. Only Miami (811,104) drew fewer fans.

STAYING THE COURSE

The Rays are happy with the progress of two-way player Brendan McKay at Single-A Charlotte this season and plan to continue the experiment. ''Where this ends up going I think we don't know exactly still, but we're really encouraged,'' Tampa Bay senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom said.

Bloom said McKay, whose season ended prematurely because of an oblique injury, has been working in the instructional league and has gotten back ''to where he's a healthy player.''

RAYS' HOT STREAKS

Tommy Pham walked in the third to extend his on-base streak to 32 games, the longest active streak in the majors. Johnny Damon holds the team record with 39. ... Wendle set a club rookie record by hitting .300. ... Mallex Smith stole 40 bases.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Open the 2019 season at home against Detroit on March 28.

Rays: Host AL West champion Houston on opening day of 2019.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
TOR73-89
001011001491
TB90-72
00203031X9100
  • W: R. Yarbrough (16-6)L: S. Gaviglio (3-10)S: A. Pruitt (4)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
K. Pillar CF31310000.252.282.426.7086.0
J. Davis CF20100000.200.259.240.4993.0
R. Grichuk RF30110102.245.301.502.8034.0
D. Smith LF10000000.262.347.477.8240.0
B. McKinney LF-RF40000005.252.318.462.7800.0
T. Hernandez DH31000101.239.302.468.7712.0
R. Tellez 1B40200020.314.329.614.9431.0
A. Diaz 3B40010022.263.303.453.7560.0
R. McGuire C20000020.290.333.581.914-1.0
a- L. Maile PH-C20000012.248.333.366.700-0.5
J. Berti 2B41100001.267.267.467.7334.0
R. Urena SS31100100.293.340.364.7033.0
  • a-fouled out for R. McGuire in the 6th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Smith CF32110114.296.367.406.7739.5
T. Pham LF42310111.275.367.464.83010.5
J. Wendle 3B31120002.300.354.435.7896.0
A. Velazquez 3B00000000.300.417.400.8171.0
C. Cron DH41000104.253.323.493.8162.0
B. Lowe 2B40010011.233.324.450.7740.5
W. Adames SS41200010.278.348.406.7542.5
A. Meadows RF30000101.287.325.461.7851.0
J. Bauers 1B32320100.201.316.384.70011.0
N. Ciuffo C10000001.189.262.297.5590.0
a- A. Moore PH-C10000102.222.263.444.7081.0
  • a-walked for Ciuffo in the 6th
BATTING
  • 2B - K. Pillar (40), R. Grichuk (32)
  • 3B - J. Berti
  • RBI - K. Pillar (59), R. Grichuk (61), A. Diaz (55)
  • 2-Out RBI - K. Pillar (22), R. Grichuk (22)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. McKinney 4 (4), T. Hernandez, L. Maile, J. Berti
BATTING
  • 2B - J. Bauers (22)
  • 3B - T. Pham (6)
  • SF - J. Wendle (10), B. Lowe
  • SH - N. Ciuffo (2)
  • RBI - M. Smith (40), T. Pham (63), J. Wendle 2 (61), B. Lowe (25), J. Bauers 2 (48)
  • 2-Out RBI - J. Wendle (20), J. Bauers 2 (11)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Smith 3 (3), C. Cron 2 (2), B. Lowe, A. Moore 2 (2)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - J. Davis (3)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - M. Smith 2 (40), T. Pham (15), J. Wendle (16), J. Bauers (6)
FIELDING
  • DP - (Urena-Berti-Tellez)
  • E - R. McGuire
FIELDING
  • DP - (Pruitt-Lowe-Bauers)
  • PB - N. Ciuffo (4)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
S. Gaviglio (L, 3-10)5.26553305.311.44-2.5
J. Fernandez0.10001106.101.35-0.5
J. Biagini0.23332006.001.67-8.0
T. Guerrieri1.11110004.661.341.0
PITCHERSIP
S. Gaviglio (L, 3-10)5.2
J. Fernandez0.1
J. Biagini0.2
T. Guerrieri1.1
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
R. Stanek2.01000302.981.096.5
R. Yarbrough (W, 16-6)3.04211203.911.2911.0
H. Wood (H, 4)0.11111003.731.46-3.0
H. Milner (H, 1)0.10000007.361.910.0
A. Pruitt (S, 4)3.13111204.651.2612.0
PITCHERSIP
R. Stanek2.0
R. Yarbrough (W, 16-6)3.0
H. Wood (H, 4)0.1
H. Milner (H, 1)0.1
A. Pruitt (S, 4)3.1
PITCHING
  • WP - S. Gaviglio (6), J. Biagini (8)
  • HBP - T. Guerrieri 2 (3)
  • Pitches-Strikes - S. Gaviglio 90-51, J. Fernandez 9-3, J. Biagini 23-12, T. Guerrieri 20-13
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - S. Gaviglio 8-6, J. Biagini 1-1, T. Guerrieri 2-1
  • Batters Faced - S. Gaviglio 26, J. Fernandez 2, J. Biagini 7, T. Guerrieri 6
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - R. Stanek 27-18, R. Yarbrough 51-31, H. Wood 11-6, H. Milner 8-5, A. Pruitt 48-32
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Wood 1-0, A. Pruitt 4-3
  • Batters Faced - R. Stanek 7, R. Yarbrough 14, H. Wood 3, H. Milner, A. Pruitt 13
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
TOR73-89
001011001491
TB90-72
00203031X9100
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
K. Pillar CF31310000.252.282.426.7086.0
J. Davis CF20100000.200.259.240.4993.0
R. Grichuk RF30110102.245.301.502.8034.0
D. Smith LF10000000.262.347.477.8240.0
B. McKinney LF-RF40000005.252.318.462.7800.0
T. Hernandez DH31000101.239.302.468.7712.0
R. Tellez 1B40200020.314.329.614.9431.0
A. Diaz 3B40010022.263.303.453.7560.0
R. McGuire C20000020.290.333.581.914-1.0
a- L. Maile PH-C20000012.248.333.366.700-0.5
J. Berti 2B41100001.267.267.467.7334.0
R. Urena SS31100100.293.340.364.7033.0
Total37410303714-----
  • a-fouled out for R. McGuire in the 6th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Smith CF32110114.296.367.406.7739.5
T. Pham LF42310111.275.367.464.83010.5
J. Wendle 3B31120002.300.354.435.7896.0
A. Velazquez 3B00000000.300.417.400.8171.0
C. Cron DH41000104.253.323.493.8162.0
B. Lowe 2B40010011.233.324.450.7740.5
W. Adames SS41200010.278.348.406.7542.5
A. Meadows RF30000101.287.325.461.7851.0
J. Bauers 1B32320100.201.316.384.70011.0
N. Ciuffo C10000001.189.262.297.5590.0
a- A. Moore PH-C10000102.222.263.444.7081.0
Total30910706416-----
HITTERSAB
M. Smith CF3
T. Pham LF4
J. Wendle 3B3
A. Velazquez 3B0
C. Cron DH4
B. Lowe 2B4
W. Adames SS4
A. Meadows RF3
J. Bauers 1B3
N. Ciuffo C1
a- A. Moore PH-C1
Total30
  • a-walked for Ciuffo in the 6th
BATTING
  • 2B - K. Pillar (40), R. Grichuk (32)
  • 3B - J. Berti
  • RBI - K. Pillar (59), R. Grichuk (61), A. Diaz (55)
  • 2-Out RBI - K. Pillar (22), R. Grichuk (22)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. McKinney 4 (4), T. Hernandez, L. Maile, J. Berti
BATTING
  • 2B - J. Bauers (22)
  • 3B - T. Pham (6)
  • SF - J. Wendle (10), B. Lowe
  • SH - N. Ciuffo (2)
  • RBI - M. Smith (40), T. Pham (63), J. Wendle 2 (61), B. Lowe (25), J. Bauers 2 (48)
  • 2-Out RBI - J. Wendle (20), J. Bauers 2 (11)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Smith 3 (3), C. Cron 2 (2), B. Lowe, A. Moore 2 (2)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - J. Davis (3)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - M. Smith 2 (40), T. Pham (15), J. Wendle (16), J. Bauers (6)
FIELDING
  • DP - (Urena-Berti-Tellez)
  • E - R. McGuire
FIELDING
  • DP - (Pruitt-Lowe-Bauers)
  • PB - N. Ciuffo (4)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
S. Gaviglio (L, 3-10)5.26553305.311.44-2.5
J. Fernandez0.10001106.101.35-0.5
J. Biagini0.23332006.001.67-8.0
T. Guerrieri1.11110004.661.341.0
Total8.01099640---
PITCHERSIP
S. Gaviglio (L, 3-10)5.2
J. Fernandez0.1
J. Biagini0.2
T. Guerrieri1.1
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
R. Stanek2.01000302.981.096.5
R. Yarbrough (W, 16-6)3.04211203.911.2911.0
H. Wood (H, 4)0.11111003.731.46-3.0
H. Milner (H, 1)0.10000007.361.910.0
A. Pruitt (S, 4)3.13111204.651.2612.0
Total9.0943370---
PITCHERSIP
R. Stanek2.0
R. Yarbrough (W, 16-6)3.0
H. Wood (H, 4)0.1
H. Milner (H, 1)0.1
A. Pruitt (S, 4)3.1
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • WP - S. Gaviglio (6), J. Biagini (8)
  • HBP - T. Guerrieri 2 (3)
  • Pitches-Strikes - S. Gaviglio 90-51, J. Fernandez 9-3, J. Biagini 23-12, T. Guerrieri 20-13
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - S. Gaviglio 8-6, J. Biagini 1-1, T. Guerrieri 2-1
  • Batters Faced - S. Gaviglio 26, J. Fernandez 2, J. Biagini 7, T. Guerrieri 6
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - R. Stanek 27-18, R. Yarbrough 51-31, H. Wood 11-6, H. Milner 8-5, A. Pruitt 48-32
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Wood 1-0, A. Pruitt 4-3
  • Batters Faced - R. Stanek 7, R. Yarbrough 14, H. Wood 3, H. Milner, A. Pruitt 13
  • 9TH INNING
    Davis grounded out to second, Berti scored, Urena out at second49
  • 8TH INNING
    Cron grounded out to second, Smith scored, Pham to third, Velazquez out at second39
  • 7TH INNING
    Bauers doubled to deep left, Cron and Adames scored, Meadows to third38
    Lowe hit sacrifice fly to left, Wendle scored36
  • 6TH INNING
    Diaz reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Hernandez scored, Tellez out at second35
  • 5TH INNING
    Wendle hit sacrifice fly to center, Pham scored25
    Pham tripled to deep center, Smith scored24
    Smith singled to right center, Bauers scored23
    Pillar doubled to deep right center, Urena scored22
  • 3RD INNING
    Wendle singled to left center, Pham scored12
    Bauers stole home Pham stole third, Bauers scored11
    Grichuk doubled to left, Pillar scored10
  • 9TH INNING
    • A. Pruitt Pitching:
    • J. Berti: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Berti tripled to right center
    • R. Urena: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Urena walked
    • J. Davis: Davis grounded out to second, Berti scored, Urena out at second
    • D. Smith: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Smith grounded out to second
    • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • A. Pruitt Pitching:
    • T. Hernandez: Hernandez flied out to center
    • R. Tellez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Tellez singled to center
    • Andrew Velazquez at third base
    • A. Diaz: Foul, Strike looking, Foul tip, Diaz struck out on foul tip
    • L. Maile: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Maile struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • T. Guerrieri Pitching:
    • M. Smith: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Smith hit by pitch
    • T. Pham: Foul, Strike looking, Pham singled to center, Smith to second
    • A. Velazquez: Strike swinging, Ball, Velazquez hit by pitch, Smith to third, Pham to second
    • C. Cron: Cron grounded out to second, Smith scored, Pham to third, Velazquez out at second
    • B. Lowe: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Lowe grounded out to first
    • End of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • A. Pruitt Pitching:
    • R. Urena: Foul, Strike swinging, Urena grounded out to first
    • J. Davis: Ball, Davis singled to left center
    • R. Grichuk: Ball, Ball, Davis stole second, Foul, Grichuk flied out to left
    • B. McKinney: Ball, Ball, Ball, McKinney flied out to deep left
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • Joe Biagini relieved Jose Fernandez
    • Dwight Smith in left field
    • T. Pham: Ball, Ball, Pham singled to center
    • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Wendle reached on fielder's choice to second, Pham out at second
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Wendle stole second, Ball, Wendle to third on wild pitch, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Cron walked
    • B. Lowe: Strike swinging, Lowe hit sacrifice fly to left, Wendle scored
    • W. Adames: Ball, Strike swinging, Adames singled to left, Cron to second
    • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Meadows walked, Cron to third, Adames to second
    • J. Bauers: Bauers doubled to deep left, Cron and Adames scored, Meadows to third
    • Taylor Guerrieri relieved Joe Biagini
    • A. Moore: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Moore lined out to center
    • End of the 7th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • Hunter Wood relieved Ryan Yarbrough
    • T. Hernandez: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Hernandez walked
    • R. Tellez: Ball, Foul, Tellez singled to right, Hernandez to third
    • A. Diaz: Foul, Diaz reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Hernandez scored, Tellez out at second
    • Hoby Milner relieved Hunter Wood
    • Luke Maile hit for Reese McGuire
    • L. Maile: Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Maile fouled out to first
    • Austin Pruitt relieved Hoby Milner
    • J. Berti: Foul, Berti grounded out to second
    • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • S. Gaviglio Pitching:
    • B. Lowe: Lowe grounded out to shortstop
    • W. Adames: Adames singled to shallow center
    • A. Meadows: Ball, Meadows flied out to left
    • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bauers walked, Adames to second
    • Jose Fernandez relieved Sam Gaviglio
    • Adam Moore hit for Nick Ciuffo
    • A. Moore: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Moore walked, Adames to third, Bauers to second
    • M. Smith: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Smith struck out looking
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
    • R. McGuire: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, McGuire struck out swinging
    • J. Berti: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Berti lined out to left
    • R. Urena: Foul, Urena singled to center
    • K. Pillar: Ball, Pillar doubled to deep right center, Urena scored
    • R. Grichuk: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Grichuk walked
    • B. McKinney: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, McKinney fouled out to third
    • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Jonathan Davis in center field
    • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Bauers reached on bunt single to shortstop
    • N. Ciuffo: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ciuffo hit sacrifice bunt to third, Bauers to second
    • M. Smith: Smith singled to right center, Bauers scored
    • T. Pham: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Smith stole second, Pham tripled to deep center, Smith scored
    • J. Wendle: Ball, Wendle hit sacrifice fly to center, Pham scored
    • C. Cron: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Cron flied out to center
    • End of the 5th (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
    • T. Hernandez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Hernandez flied out to deep right
    • R. Tellez: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Tellez struck out swinging
    • A. Diaz: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Diaz lined out to left
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • S. Gaviglio Pitching:
    • B. Lowe: Foul, Ball, Lowe grounded out to pitcher
    • W. Adames: Ball, Adames grounded out to third
    • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Foul, Meadows grounded out to second
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • Ryan Yarbrough relieved Ryne Stanek
    • J. Berti: Ball, Berti flied out to deep center
    • R. Urena: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Urena flied out to left
    • K. Pillar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Pillar singled to center
    • R. Grichuk: Ball, Pillar to second on passed ball, Foul, Grichuk doubled to left, Pillar scored
    • B. McKinney: McKinney flied out to center
    • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • S. Gaviglio Pitching:
    • J. Bauers: Ball, Bauers singled to right
    • N. Ciuffo: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ciuffo flied out to left
    • M. Smith: Ball, Ball, Bauers stole second, Smith flied out to left
    • T. Pham: Strike looking, Ball, Bauers to third on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Ball, Pham walked
    • J. Wendle: Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Pham stole second, Bauers stole home Pham stole third, Bauers scored, Ball, Wendle singled to left center, Pham scored
    • C. Cron: Cron grounded out to shortstop
    • End of the 3rd (4 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 2ND INNING
    • R. Stanek Pitching:
    • R. Tellez: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Tellez struck out swinging
    • A. Diaz: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Diaz struck out swinging
    • R. McGuire: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, McGuire struck out looking
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • S. Gaviglio Pitching:
    • B. Lowe: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Lowe struck out looking
    • W. Adames: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Adames struck out swinging
    • A. Meadows: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Meadows flied out to deep center
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • R. Stanek Pitching:
    • K. Pillar: Foul, Pillar reached on an infield single to third
    • R. Grichuk: Strike swinging, Ball, Grichuk flied out to right
    • B. McKinney: Ball, Ball, McKinney flied out to deep left
    • T. Hernandez: Hernandez flied out to right
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • S. Gaviglio Pitching:
    • M. Smith: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Smith walked
    • T. Pham: Ball, Smith stole second, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Pham struck out swinging
    • J. Wendle: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Wendle grounded out to shortstop, Smith to third
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Strike looking, Cron grounded out to third
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)