ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays head into the all-star break having had their six-game win streak snapped by the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on Sunday afternoon.
The 3-1 setback sent the Rays into the all-star break with a 53-37 record and two games behind the Red Sox, pending their outcome against the Phillies.
Toronto starter Robbie Ray allowed only two baserunners in seven innings, both times Yandy Diaz, who walked in the first and broke up Ray’s no-hitter with a one-out double in the seventh.
Ray fanned 11 and threw 103 pitches, 71 for strikes.
“We really wanted to find a way to win that one, but Robbie Ray and the Blue Jays had other plans,” said manager Kevin Cash, whose team is 8-5 against their division rival after taking two of three this weekend.
The Rays’ lone run came on Brandon Lowe’s one-out home run in the ninth off Jordan Romano. It was Lowe’s 21st homer of the season and ninth in 16 games.
The Rays made things interesting in the ninth. Two batters after Lowe homered, Diaz singled with two outs and Austin Meadows strolled to the plate representing the tying run. However, Romano retired Meadows on a popup that shortstop Bo Bichette caught in foul territory to end the game.
Diaz’s double to left, which a fan reached over the railing in an attempt to catch the ball, took care of the no-hitter. Diaz was erased when he was caught in a rundown after Ray fielded Meadows’ comebacker.
“He was pitching good and had a no-hitter going,” said Diaz, through interpreter Manny Navarro. “Thank God we got a hit and did not get no-hit against.”
Collin McHugh followed starter and losing pitcher Rich Hill, who fell to 6-4 after allowing three runs in five innings. Following a one-two-three sixth, McHugh allowed a leadoff single in the seventh to Santiago Espinal. That qualifies as news given the righthander retired 37 of the previous 39 batters he had faced.
Joey Wendle, Mike Zunino and Kevin Cash head to Denver to partake in all-star festivities. The Rays resume play July 16 when they open a three-game series in Atlanta. They return to Tropicana Field on July 19 when they welcome the Orioles for a three-game series.