The Tampa Bay Rays matched the longest season-opening winning streak in Major League Baseball’s modern era on Thursday with their 13th consecutive win to open the season. But that streak came to an end on Friday night following a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto.
The Rays have overcome attrition, untimely injuries and deficits during their historic streak, but they couldn’t turn on the magic to come back on Friday after numerous walks and errors added up to their first loss of the season.
Tampa Bay was down 1-0 early after George Springer launched a 440-foot, lead-off home run to left center off pitcher Drew Rasmussen in the bottom of the first inning. It could’ve been worse as the Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out after Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho both singled and Matt Chapman walked. But Brandon Belt grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Blue Jays extended their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second after an error on a pickoff by catcher Christian Bethancourt allowed Kevin Kiermaier to get into scoring position. He then scored on Bichette’s ground rule double.
The Rays got on the board in the top of the fourth after Brooks Raley’s single scored a run.
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Rasmussen found himself in trouble again in the bottom of the fifth after two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Pitcher Colin Poche entered the game and walked in two straight runs and didn’t get help from his defense as an error by Brandon Lowe at second base put the Blue Jays up 6-1.
“Not much went our way tonight,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
The Rays cut the lead to 6-3 with homers from Josh Lowe and Bethancourt in the bottom of the seventh, but that’s all they could muster in the game.
“Losing always sucks,” Brandon Lowe said. “There’s no loss that feels any worse or any better than any other ones. You kind of put them all in the same kind of category, you know? Every win is great. Every loss is terrible.”