Ryu solid as Blue Jays rout Rays 8-3

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings, Danny Jansen hit a first-inning grand slam and a Toronto Blue Jays split squad routed the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 in Grapefruit League exhibition baseball action Monday.

Ryu, who signed an US$80-million, four-year contract with Toronto in the off-season and is expected to be Toronto’s staff ace this season, struck out four and scattered three hits while not giving up a walk in a solid spring-training start.

The Blue Jays got on the board early, with Bo Bichette scoring when Travis Shaw drew a bases-loaded walk. Jansen then cleared the bases with a grand slam off Tampa starter Blake Snell, who lasted just a third of an inning.

Riley Adams, who replaced Jansen at catcher, made it 8-0 Toronto when he hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Rays scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the ninth on RBI singles from Joey Roach and Dalton Kelly and a run-scoring double from Brett Sullivan. The Jays prevented a fourth run when Kelly was thrown out at the plate.

The rest of Toronto’s squad posted a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., behind a strong start from Anthony Kay.

The lefty struck out four while giving up no runs on three hits and two walks over three innings.

Toronto opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the fourth. A bases-loaded walk to Ryan Noda scored Brandon Drury, then Caleb Joseph’s sacrifice fly cashed in Derek Fisher.

Pittsburgh scored a run in the seventh on Oneil Cruz’s RBI double, then Toronto restored its lead in the ninth with an RBI single from Chavez Young.

Jake Petricka picked up the save.

The Blue Jays next face the New York Yankees on Tuesday afternoon.

Toronto opens its regular season at home against the Red Sox on March 26.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2020.

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