Rays return to using relievers as starters vs. Blue Jays

jets_116The Tampa Bay Rays haven’t had much to be genuinely excited about in an up-and-down first third of the season, but a youth movement could do that with more games like Monday’s 8-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

For the first time in the major leagues, two of the franchise’s top prospects, shortstop Willy Adames and first baseman Jake Bauers, played together. Each drove in two runs to open a three-game series against Toronto.

Toronto has stuck with traditional starters, even when they haven’t fared well, like Jaime Garcia, who pitched for three teams last season and is on his fourth in less than a year with the Jays. Garcia is 2-4 with a 5.57 ERA, though his last outing was a solid one, holding the Baltimore Orioles to one run and four hits in six innings.

Garcia, who spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, has only faced the Rays once, holding them to one run in 4 2/3 innings last year for a 1.93 ERA.

The Blue Jays, who had top prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr. at Tropicana Field as a guest as he works through an injury, had come to St. Petersburg fresh off a four-game sweep of the Orioles, but they let an early lead slip away Monday.

It was the first time in a while I can remember us scoring a bunch of runs early here, Jays manager John Gibbons said. Every time we did, they came back and answered and took the lead, and they broke it open late.

A federal judge dismissed the case. Judge Virginia Kendall said the board was allowed because the agreement allowed any expansion of Wrigley Field approved by governmental authorities.

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in September upheld the decision to dismiss the case. The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear the case, leaving the lower court decisions in place.

The Cubs issued a statement Monday praising the ruling.

We are thrilled the Supreme Court of the United States today affirmed the Cubs’ right to renovate and improve Wrigley Field, it read. In declining to review the case brought by rooftop owners, the Supreme Court let stand previous court decisions and upheld the legal position the Cubs have advocated for more than a decade. The opposition of rooftop owners and local aldermen to Wrigley Field renovations has unfortunately cost the team time and energy to refute allegations we understood from the beginning were meritless.

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