Blue Jays down Rays to avoid 3-game sweep


Kevin Pillar doubled to lead off the sixth inning and later scored the go-ahead run as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday to avoid a three-game series sweep.


The win is just the second in seven games for the Blue Jays (53-64) while the Rays (60-58) saw their three-game win streak come to an end.

Jaime Garcia (3-6) pitched a scoreless sixth inning while striking out two for the win. Ken Giles picked up his 13th save of the season.

Rays reliever Jose Alvarado (1-5) was charged with the loss.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman (4-8), who has been battling blister issues on the middle finger of his throwing hand and left last Tuesday’s start against the Red Sox due to discomfort, was limited to just five innings and 76 pitches. The right-hander allowed one earned on five hits while striking out two and walking one.

Tampa got to Stroman in the fourth when Joey Wendle led off with a single and came around to score on a RBI single from Willy Adames two hitters later.

The Blue Jays found the scoreboard in the sixth.

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow issued a lead-off walk to catcher Luke Maile. With Alvarado on in relief, Pillar, who pinch hitting for Curtis Granderson, doubled to the wall in left and Devon Travis followed up with an RBI single.

Toronto took its first lead of the series two batters later when Pillar scored from third on a ground out by Randal Grichuk. Rays reliever Ryne Stanek thought he’d applied the tag before Pillar’s hand touched the plate, but following a review, Pillar was ruled safe.