TORONTO -- Tyler Glasnow has recorded quality starts in four of his last five starts, but he doesn't have much to show for it.The 25-year-old bounced back from a seven-run, 2/3-inning performance in his last start against the Blue Jays to record six innings of three-run baseball on Saturday afternoon
TORONTO -- Tyler Glasnow has recorded quality starts in four of his last five starts, but he doesn't have much to show for it.
The 25-year-old bounced back from a seven-run, 2/3-inning performance in his last start against the Blue Jays to record six innings of three-run baseball on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. But once again, his offense couldn't come through for him and eventually the Blue Jays added a pair of tack-on runs in the eighth to deal Tampa Bay a 5-2 loss.
The Rays moved to seven games back of the second Wild Card spot with a playoff elimination number of two, pending the result of Oakland's Saturday night game.
"We felt like we kind of had to play very well for the last couple months," Joey Wendle said. "The Wild Card wasn't even in discussion outside the clubhouse until recently."
Glasnow has received a combined 11 runs of support in his last 10 starts, and coming into Saturday, his run support per nine of 1.83 ranked second lowest in the Majors behind only Dylan Covey for pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched since Aug. 1.
"We've been playing so well and we've been scoring a lot of runs," Glasnow said. "I think it's just kind of how baseball is randomly. … If I don't get run support and everyone else does, I think we can keep that going. I just want to win games."
He pitched around six hits and a pair of walks to keep the game close for his offense, which just couldn't break through. His only hiccup came in the fourth inning, when he left a 98.1-mph fastball too much over the plate for Rowdy Tellez, who hit a two-run homer to right field. Three batters later, Reese McGuire doubled home Kevin Pillar to give Toronto a 3-1 lead.
"I thought Glas was fine," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We have to somehow figure out how to get Tellez out, he's kind of beat us up this series for sure. But other than that, one little blip there, I thought Glas threw another really really strong outing."
Pitching has carried the Rays for most of this season. Coming into Saturday, their 3.62 ERA ranked third in the Majors and they've been even better since the All-Star break, posting a 3.48 ERA over 37 games.
However, the Rays' offense had looked strong to start September. Prior to Saturday, they'd scored 114 innings in 19 September games, the second most of any Major League team, and they'd scored three or more runs in 17 of 19 games this month.
Blue Jays rookie starter Thomas Pannone recorded 6 2/3 innings pitched, allowing six hits and just a pair of runs. He was removed from the game after a two-out Jesus Sucre homer and a Mallex Smith single in the seventh inning.
"He threw the fastball really well," Cash said. "Mixed in a couple slow breaking balls in there, but ultimately, he throws a fastball at the bottom of the zone that has a lot of carry. ... He really threw a good ballgame for them."
Adam Kolarek and Ryne Stanek held the Blue Jays scoreless in their combined one inning pitched, before Jose Alvarado gave up a pair of one-out RBI hits to give the Blue Jays a two-run lead.
"[Alvarado] came in and faced the teeth of the lineup," Cash said. "I thought Jose looked fine, he had four or five days off. At that point in the game we needed to do everything to keep it at one. He was the right guy, just didn't work out."
The run snapped Alvarado's streak of 15 straight scoreless appearances dating back to Aug. 12, when he allowed a pair of runs against Toronto.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rays get nothing with bases loaded: Three straight walks in the third inning brought Willy Adames to the plate with a chance to blow the game open for the Rays, but Adames struck out swinging to end the inning. Adames is 0-for-10 with the bases loaded this season and hitting just .228 with runners in scoring position.
"It's really frustrating," Adames said. "Every time you don't get the job done, it's pretty frustrating, and it's going to happen, but that's baseball. Hopefully tomorrow we bounce back with the win."
Meadows and Wendle can't get Pillar: In the bottom of the fourth, McGuire hit a sharp line drive to right field that Austin Meadows quickly corralled, but Meadows' throw to second baseman Wendle was off-line. Wendle turned and fired home, but his throw was also wild, allowing Pillar to score.
"There should have been a play there," Cash said. "I'm not sure where Joey or C.J. [Cron] were positioned, but you want that to come directly to home or the cutoff man."
Sucre hit his first home run of the season in the seventh inning. He had gone 178 at-bats since his last home run on Sept. 24, 2017.
Blake Snell (20-5, 1.97 ERA) continues his American League Cy Young Award campaign on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. Snell threw five innings of no-hit ball in his last start against Toronto, but was pulled due to a pitch count as he returned from left shoulder fatigue. Blue Jays rookie Ryan Borucki (4-4, 3.86) will make his second career start against the Rays. He allowed just two runs over six innings pitched against them on Sept. 4.
Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.