Rays’ pitching rebounds in shutout of Jays

by Gary Shelton on September 15, 2021

in general

Lowe hit his 34th homer for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

It was just one of 90 victories. That's all. Another pebble in road. Another tree in the forest.

For the Tampa Bay Rays, however, it felt bigger.

The Rays' 2-0 victory over Toronto Tuesday night beat back the doubts, and it silenced the critics, and for the moment, it enabled a team to move forward without looking over its shoulders.

The Rays quieted a hot, potent lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays as five pitchers combined for a three-hitter. It was just the third time this season Toronto has been shut out.

Along the way, the Rays got an impressive start from Drew Rasmussen, who went five innings to run his record to 3-1. Just as dazzling, however, was a nice game by the bullpen, which had four pitchers throw one-hit baseball.

Three of those pitchers -- Andrew Kittredge, Pete Fairbanks and David Robertson -- had struggled in their last appearances.

“He (Rasmussen) had to be as close to perfect as possible," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Berrios matched him toe to toe there. He did get into a jam (in the fourth) but got out of it. It was probably the pivotal point for us."

The jam was in the fourth, when the Rays led 1-0. The Jays had the first two batters reach base, and Vlad Guerrero Jr. had a 3-0 count. But Rasmussen came back to get out of the inning.

“It’s been incredible," said Brandon Lowe. "What he’s doing is nothing short of amazing."

The Rays scored their only runs on solo homers by Ji-Man Choi and Lowe, his 34th of the year.

The Rays play Toronto again today at 3:07 p.m. Michael Wacha will pitch for the Rays against Toronto's Robbie Ray.

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