Brandon Lowe hit a pair of 3-pointers and Manuel Margot hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Lowe’s RBI triple capped a three-run eighth as the Rays sent Toronto to their fifth straight loss.

“We’re probably pushing,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “What I know from experience is that good hitters are going to hit, and you can’t panic about a good offense when you have 129 games left. It’s just that right now, because we’ve played so many close games, everything becomes magnified because everyone expects our offense to be one of the best in baseball.”

The Rays snapped a 2-2 tie with three straight hits against starter Kevin Gausman (3-2).

Margot returned to the lineup after missing two games with a strained hamstring and extended her hitting streak to 10 games with her go-ahead single.

Andrew Kittredge (3-0) got the win in relief and Jason Adam pitched the ninth inning for his first major league save.

Lowe became the first player to hit two 3-pointers in a major league game this season. He thought the first was a home run and would have been happy with a single on the second.

“I got that ball as good as I’m going to get a ball,” he said of his 400-plus-foot throw that opened the second that sent Toronto center fielder George Springer crashing into the ball. “I thought it was out of character, honestly.”

In the eighth, he hit a looper to short and right center that bounced between two outfielders.

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“I saw [centre fielder Raimel] Tapia running at him and everyone knows how fast he is,” Lowe said. “I was praying to get a single result. I saw him fall and the only thing that went through my head was to run.”

Ji-Man Choi drove in the Rays’ first run with a groundout after Lowe’s first 3-pointer. A three-base throwing error on Gausman set up another Rays run in the fifth when Mike Zunino’s RBI single made it 2-0.

Tapia led off Toronto’s fifth with an infield single, walked up and scored on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s two-out single.

The Blue Jays tied it at 2-2 in the seventh after pinch hitter Vinny Capra led off with the first of three straight singles against Brooks Raley. It was Capra’s first major league hit.

Gausman allowed five hits and one walk and struck out eight. It was his 16th straight start in which the right-hander has given up one or none.

“He gave us a chance again,” Montoyo said. “If he’s not the best pitcher in baseball, he’s one of the best.”

Rays starter Drew Rasmussen allowed one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, leaving the game with a 2-1 lead and a chance to win his fourth straight start.

Big defensive plays from shortstop Wander Franco and left fielder Randy Arozarena helped Rasmussen keep the Blue Jays off base.

“I think that’s something that separates us from other teams,” Margot said through a translator. “We’re able to make plays that maybe others can’t make.”

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Springer left the game with a sprained left ankle in the third inning after hitting the wall while searching for Lowe’s first 3-pointer. Montoyo said there was no swelling and he expects Springer to play on Saturday.




Reference-www.cbc.ca

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