TORONTO – (AFP) Yandy Diaz hit a home three-way run, and the Tampa Bay Rays – who started nine Latin American players in an unprecedented day on Roberto Clemente – beat Toronto 11-0 on Thursday to claim the Blues’ half-game win . Jays are on the hunt for a wild card.
Clemente, the late Hall of Fame player from Puerto Rico, was a two-time World Series winner and NL MVP who played 18 seasons with Pittsburgh. Latin American freshmen for Blue Jays are from five countries: Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.
“Very happy, especially on a day like today,” Diaz said. “I think Latinos put their mark on baseball.”
All nine Rays starters, plus base coaches Chris Prieto and Rodney Linares, wore the No. 21 to honor Clemente. The nine players put a picture on the field after the match.
Diaz said he hopes to frame his jersey and squad card to remember the historic day.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said the lineup was based on the hitters he wanted to take on Kevin Gusman in Toronto.
“We got Gusman as a reverse split person, so load up on the Whigs. It turns out they were all Latino,” Cash said.
Shane McClanahan is back from the injured list to lead five games.
“I’ve been dying to come back and help this team in any way I can,” McClanahan said.
Isaac Paredes hit a home singles tour and added an RBI single as the Rays (80-63) won the fifth and final game of the series. Toronto (81-63) will play a four-game series at Tampa Bay, starting next Thursday.
Seattle (80-62), which holds one of three wild card locations, was idle on Thursday, but led by percentage points over Toronto.
Diaz came in the second half of four runs, which is the ninth. Paredes made the score 5-0 with a blast up front on the seventh, nineteenth.
Randy Arrosarina had three hits, including an RBI in the ninth, and Manuel Margo added a triple-double later in the six-stroke frame while Tampa Bay doubled against right-handers Trevor Richards and David Phelps.
Activated from the injured list after missing 15 games due to a left shoulder collision, McClanahan (12-5) allowed three hits, hit five and walked one.
“We’re better with him than without him, there’s no doubt about that,” Cash said. He’s a talented shooter.”
The left-hander rolled around a pair of singles in the first inning, then retired 14 of the last 16 hitters he faced. He lowered his ERA to 2.13.
“Today was really bad,” said Renee Pinto-Rise-Mask. “We are not machines but it looks like one.”
JT Chargois had two hits in sixth, Jason Adam made 1 1/3 of the innings, Javy Guerra went down eighth and Kevin Herget finished the six hitter, the 10th closing for Tampa Bay.
Gausman (12-10) allowed five runs and six strokes in seven innings, snapping a run of four consecutive winning decisions. He hit seven and walked one.
“There are a lot of bugs and mistakes that are magnified with the guys at the base,” Gussman said.
After Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Beau Pechet hit back-to-back singles in the first, the pair executed a double steal. McClanahan survived by hitting Matt Chapman and making Tuscar Hernandez fly.
Bichette doubled JT Chargois for sixth and took a lead on Chapman’s single but Hernandez scored before Adam came on to hit hitter Cavan Biggio.
Tribute to Clement
Pechet, right-hander Jose Berrios, defensive player George Springer and third base coach Luis Rivera wore the soccer players. 21 for Toronto.
a great offer
Two fans from the Korean community in Toronto gave Rise player Ji-Man Choi some rewards while practicing batting, including one called Choco Pie. Choi returned the favor with some autographed baseballs.
Tampa Bay LHP Josh Fleming chose Triple-A Durham to clear a spot on the list for McClanahan.
Rhys: Cash said RHP Shane Baz (right elbow) started throwing on flat ground but won’t be back this season.
Blue Jays: C. Alejandro Kirk (left hip) was not available. Kirk did not play Wednesday.
Rays: RHP Corey Kluber (10-8, 4.36 ERA) kicks off Friday as the Rays go home to host Texas. LHP Martín Pérez (11-6, 2.77 ERA) goes to Rangers.
Blue Jays: Toronto did not name a key player in Friday’s home game against Baltimore. RHP Jordan Lyles (10-10, 4.62 ERA) starts for the Orioles.
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