The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.–Jake Bauers’ first career home run highlighted a big night for Rays’ rookies.
Bauers put Tampa Bay ahead in the fourth inning as the Rays went on to an 8-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night.
Bauers and fellow 22-year-old Willy Adames drove in four runs, and left-hander Ryan Yarbough pitched six innings, to help the Rays win for only the second time in 11 games.
Playing in just his fifth major-league game, Bauers got on base his first four times and scored three runs.
The rookie first baseman spent much of the game looking across the diamond at Adames, a shortstop who was recalled from the minor leagues earlier yesterday.
“We kept making eye contact,” Bauers noted. “We’ve played for three or four years [in the minors] with each other, and for all of it to come together here now, it was pretty special.”
Bauers’ two-run homer off Sam Gaviglio after Matt Duffy’s single erased a 4-3 Toronto lead in the fourth inning.
Tampa Bay tacked on three runs in the seventh with the help of two errors on the same play by reliever John Axford.
Joey Wendle hit a bases-loaded dribbler back to the mound that Axford bobbled, then picked up and threw wildly to enable two runs to score.
“It’s never an easy play,” said Jays’ manager John Gibbons. “When you bobble it, you start rushing and that’s what happened.”
Adames followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 8-4.
Yarbrough, who leads the majors with 44 relief innings, started and pitched six innings.
The 26-year-old rookie survived a shaky start in which he gave up seven hits to the first 16 batters he faced, including Teoscar Hernandez’s 11th home run.
But he didn’t worry about being yanked early from only his fourth career start.
“With what I’ve been doing, either starting or coming into the game in the second inning, my job is to go as deep into the game as possible,” Yarbrough remarked.
“So that’s kind of what I did.
“To be able to go six innings was really big for me, especially the way things have been going,” he added.
Yarbrough (5-2) gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out three in his first start since May 14.
Gaviglio (2-2) gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. attended the game while in the process of rehabbing the strained patellar tendon in his left knee.
“I’m not frustrated at all. Stuff happens that you can’t control,” said Toronto’s 19-year-old third base prospect, who has driven in 55 runs in 53 games for ‘AA’ New Hampshire.
He is expected to miss at least four weeks.
Meanwhile, Jays’ second baseman Devon Travis (right knee) was back in the lineup last night after sitting out two games.
Elsewhere in the AL, Boston beat Baltimore 2-0 (12 innings), Cleveland blanked Chicago 4-0, and Seattle downed L.A. 5-3.
Over in the NL, Miami topped San Francisco 7-5, Chicago dumped Milwaukee 7-2 (11 innings), St. Louis beat San Diego 5-2, and Arizona upended Pittsburgh 9-5.