September 4, 2018 / 2:17 AM / 2 months ago

Rays blaze past Jays in series opener

Kevin Kiermaier and Joey Wendle each had three hits, and Ji-Man Choi homered to help the visiting Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 Monday night.

Tampa Bay’s Yonny Chirinos (3-5) allowed one run on four hits and three walks in seven relief innings to earn the win. He struck out five.

Kiermaier tripled, doubled and singled and had one RBI in the opener of the three-game series.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman (4-9) allowed four runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings in his first start since Aug. 17. He had been on the disabled list due to a blister on his right middle finger.

Tommy Pham’s RBI single gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the first, scoring Matt Duffy, who had singled and taken second on a groundout.

The Rays added three in the second. Kiermaier led off with a triple. Nick Ciuffo, in his first major league at-bat, reached base on a grounder to first baseman Justin Smoak, who threw home as Kiermaier went safely back into third. Mallex Smith hit an RBI single, and Duffy hit a two-run double.

Stroman left the game after hitting Pham with a pitch. Jose Fernandez finished the inning.

Ryne Stanek tossed a perfect first inning for the Rays. Chirinos took over in the second and quickly allowed a run on walks to Aledmys Diaz and Russell Martin and a single by Teoscar Hernandez.

The Rays scored once in the third on Wendle’s double and Kiermaier’s single for a 5-1 lead.

Tim Mayza’s wild pitch in the fifth allowed Pham to score another Tampa Bay run. Danny Barnes had walked Pham and allowed a Wendle single. Mayza replaced Barnes and induced a double-play grounder from Brandon Lowe that moved Pham to third before the wild pitch.

Taylor Guerrieri replaced Mayza for the seventh and allowed the sixth home run of the season by Choi, his fourth for Tampa Bay.

The Blue Jays started out the bottom of the seventh with two singles, but Martin grounded into Toronto’s third double play of the game.

Tyler Clippard used three strikeouts to pitch around Kiermaier’s double in the eighth.

Mark Leiter Jr. pitched a perfect top of the ninth for Toronto.

Tampa Bay’s Jaime Schultz allowed only a walk in the bottom of the ninth.

—Field Level Media

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