DUNEDIN, Fla. – Rainer Nunez hit a walk-off two-run single as the Toronto Blue Jays came back to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6 on Friday in spring training baseball action.
Nunez’s hit capped a three-run ninth for the Blue Jays that started with an RBI single from catcher Stevie Berman.
Star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left the game in the second inning with right knee discomfort, but manager John Schneider said after the game he is optimistic the injury isn’t serious.
Guerrero had an RBI single in the first inning, advancing to second base on a throw to home to try to prevent Bo Bichette from scoring. Guerrero looked uncomfortable reaching second, but stayed in the game for the remainder of the inning.
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Guerrero, who is slated to leave Sunday to join the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team, is considered day to day.
Rob Brantley and George Springer each hit an RBI double in the second inning to put the Jays up 3-1, and Matt Chapman’s run-scoring single in the third put Toronto ahead 4-2.
The Rays tied the game with a two-run fourth, then went ahead 5-4 in the sixth when Niko Hulsizer scored on a Berman throwing error.
Tampa Bay added a run in the eighth when Austin Shenton scored on a balk by Jays pitcher Jimmy Burnette. It was the second balk of the game committed by Toronto.
Brandon Eisert picked up the win by pitching a hitless ninth inning.
Anthony Molina took the loss for the Rays.
Toronto starter Kevin Gausman gave up one earned run on a single hit while striking out three over 1 1/3 innings.
Toronto (4-3) faces Detroit on Saturday in Lakeland, Fla.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2023.
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