Taylor Walls hit a pair of doubles in his major league debut and the Tampa Bay Rays won their ninth straight game, 3-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.
Manuel Margot hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning and Mike Zunino homered for the Rays. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier left in the fifth inning with left eye irritation.
Walls is a 24-year-old shortstop who had never played above Double-A until this season. He was called up from the minors after shortstop Willy Adames was traded to Milwaukee on Friday.
Walls doubled in the ninth and later scored on a wild pitch and an errant throw to third by catcher Danny Jansen.
After scoring 72 runs during the first eight wins, Tampa Bay generated just enough offence. Five Rays combined on a six-hitter to send Toronto to its fourth straight loss.
Rays starter Shane McClanahan allowed one run and four hits in five innings. Andrew Kittredge (4-0) threw a scoreless seventh and Diego Castillo worked the ninth to get his eighth save.
Toronto’s Robbie Ray gave up one run, five hits and struck out seven in seven innings. The lefty has fanned 49 and walked just one over his six starts.
After Anthony Castro (0-1) intentionally walked Brandon Lowe with a runner on second and one out in the eighth, Margot singled to put the Rays up 2-1.
Castro was reinstated from the 10-day injured list before the game after being sidelined by a right forearm strain.
Zunino tied it at 1 in the fifth on his 11th homer.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drew a two-out walk off McClanahan in the first and scored on Teoscar Hernandez’s double. Hernandez has 20 RBIs in 21 games since returning from the COVID-related IL.
Tampa Bay had a streak of scoring seven runs or more in six straight games end. The Rays had also had hit three or more homers in five consecutive games, which was one away from the longest streak in major league history of six set by the 1987 Baltimore Orioles.