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Blue Jays beat Rays 6-2; Bassitt becomes 15-game winner

Chris Bassitt became the American League's second 15-game winner and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Friday night in a matchup of teams holding the top two American League wild-card positions.

Bassitt (15-8) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings. He tied Tampa Bay's Zach Eflin for the AL lead in wins.

Jordan Romano replaced Jordan Hicks with two on and two outs in the eighth and walked Isaac Paredes on four pitches before retiring Curtis Mead on a grounder to preserve a 4-2 lead. The right-hander then worked the ninth to get his 36th save in 39 chances.

Daulton Varsho hit a solo homer during a two-run ninth for the Blue Jays, who began play holding the second AL wild card by a half-game over Texas and Seattle. The Rangers hosted the Mariners on Friday night

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Romano, right, celebrates with catcher Alejandro Kirk after closing out the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Rays, who have a comfortable lead in the wild-card race and have already clinched a playoff berth, started the day 1 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East. The Orioles, who own the tiebreaker, were at Cleveland on Friday night.

Rays All-Star left fielder Randy Arozarena exited after the fourth inning with right quadriceps tightness. He legged out a double in the first and scored the game's first run on Harold Ramirez's RBI single.

Tampa Bay center fielder Jose Siri missed his 10th straight game with a broken right hand. Another outfielder, Luke Raley, was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game due to a cervical strain.

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow (9-7) had given up just one hit and a walk until George Springer had a one-out single in the sixth.

After stealing second, Springer scored to tie it at 1 on Bo Bichette's single that deflected off the glove of diving first baseman Yandy Diaz. Alejandro Kirk picked up an RBI to make it 2-1 on the third consecutive walk by Glasnow, which ended his night.

Kevin Kelly replaced Glasnow and hit Matt Chapman with a pitch to force in a run, then allowed an RBI single to Varsho as Toronto took a 4-1 lead.

Mead got the Rays within 4-2 on his first career homer, a seventh-inning drive off Bassitt.

Glasnow permitted four runs, three hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven.

Toronto Blue Jays' Chris Bassitt follows through on a pitch to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero, slowed by knee discomfort, was the DH. He could start at first base Saturday. … 1B Brandon Belt (lumbar spine muscle spasms) is hitting off a pitching machine and could be nearing a return.

Rays: Relief pitcher Jason Adam left in the ninth with an injury. ... 2B Brandon Lowe, who fouled a ball off his right knee Thursday, was out of the lineup. … Raley received an injection in the nerve area.

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. bats against Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


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