|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 6, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 9,434
Rays face Jays again amid stretch vs. lesser foes
The Tampa Bay Rays are three games into a stretch of 21 games of playing teams with losing records, but they know they cannot take anything for granted in their chase for a playoff spot.
The visiting Toronto Blue Jays made that point Monday night with a 2-0 victory and will be trying to clinch the three-game series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
The Rays, who are holding a half-game lead in the chase for the second wild card and are two games behind Cleveland for the first wild card spot, started the three-week stretch against losing teams by sweeping a two-game set against the Miami Marlins on Saturday and Sunday.
After the Blue Jays, the Rays will play the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, the Detroit Tigers, the Mariners again, and the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rays are 33-16 against teams with below .500 records. They are 7-3 this season against Toronto, 3-1 at home.
"I'm definitely not underestimating anyone," Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters. "We've gone on the West Coast and Seattle has given us fits. We've got to play good baseball there. But I don't want to get too far out in front of what we have to accomplish against Toronto. If we play our style of baseball, we should come out ... in a good spot."
The Rays must do it without right-hander Yonny Chirinos, who went on the injured list Monday with inflammation of his right middle finger. He is expected to miss a month. He is 9-5 with a 3.62 ERA overall and 6-5, 3.55, in 17 starts.
Right-hander Andrew Kittredge (1-0, 2.52 ERA) will open for the Rays on Tuesday, facing Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton (4-7, 5.23).
Thornton is 0-1 with a 9.39 ERA in two starts against the Rays in his first major league season.
Kittredge is 0-0 with 5.19 ERA in five career appearances against Toronto. He allowed two runs in three innings as an opener in his only outing against Toronto this season. He struck out seven.
Chirinos joins starters Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell on the IL.
Austin Pruitt was recalled from Triple-A Durham to replace Chirinos and pitched two scoreless relief innings Monday.
Cash said he has yet to decide how to make up another loss to his starting rotation.
"But we've got three guys that we counted on for 180-plus innings. They're all sitting and watching games," Cash said. "So, not ideal. But bet on these guys to pick each other up and find a way to figure it out."
The Blue Jays are 6-2 on their 10-game road trip. It coincides with the promotion of shortstop Bo Bichette, who has a hit in each of his first eight career major league games, matching the club record.
Bichette, who attended high school in St. Petersburg, hit his third homer Monday and doubled for the sixth straight game.
The Blue Jays continued to juggle their pitching, calling up right-hander Brock Stewart on Monday from Triple-A Buffalo. They returned Yennsy Diaz to Double-A New Hampshire after the right-hander walked in two runs in two-thirds of an inning in relief Sunday in a 6-5 loss at Baltimore.
Stewart, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. He was 5-7 with 7.34 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) with Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. He had an 18.00 ERA in three outings covering four innings with the Dodgers.
"He's a long guy right now," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "I want to see the guy first before I say anything about him."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 6, 2019