The Tampa Bay Rays found success

ST. PETERSBURG http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-mike-scott-jersey , Fla. (AP) —  with a new pitching formula.Ryan Yarbrough got his rookie-leading 16th win and the Rays turned another bullpen game into their 90th victory, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Sunday.The Rays (90-72) went to the unconventional plan of using relievers to open games in addition to traditional starters in mid-May because of injuries.The results were about equal, as Tampa Bay went 46-38 with regular starters and 44-34 when utilizing the bullpen, and the trend began to take hold around the majors. But no team did it as often as the Rays.“I don’t think you can really argue with the results we’ve had with it, and not just with me but with other guys too,” Yarbrough said. “For it to work that well was a big blessing, and you never know, if it didn’t work that well, we’d never know where we could be right now.”Ryne Stanek was Tampa Bay’s “opener” for the 29th time and went two scoreless innings. Yarbrough (16-6) followed and gave up two runs and four hits over three innings to get his 14th relief win.Austin Pruitt went the final 3 1/3 innings to pick up his fourth save. He’s gone three or more innings in four of his five career saves.The Rays went 87-60 after losing 12 of their first 15 games.“Hopefully the groundwork has been laid,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The core group that has gotten some opportunities, played at a really high level Alex Bregman Jersey , learned how to win together.”Outgoing Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to have some fun in the finale and let 35-year-old catcher Russell Martin manage the game.Martin said he “thought about it for a couple seconds” before deciding to keep himself on the bench, declining the opportunity to serve as a player-manager.“It was fun,” Martin said. “Didn’t realize how much went into it. A cool experience. It’s tougher than it looks.”Toronto announced Wednesday that Gibbons will not be back as manager next season.“He’s one of my favorites,” Martin said. “I’m going to miss him. He’s a special guy. He’s kind of like having a second dad.”Over two stints totaling 11 seasons, Gibbons went 793-789 with the Blue Jays.Toronto finished 73-89, a three-game drop from 2017.Tampa Bay improved 10 games from last year and joined the 2012 Rays (90) and 2013 Texas Rangers (91) as the only 90-win teams since the second wild card was introduced in 2012 to miss the postseason.Joey Wendle and Jake Bauers both had two RBIs for the Rays, who went 13-6 against Toronto. Tampa Bay has dominated the series at home, going 111-74.Sam Gaviglio (3-10) allowed five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.SEATS AVAILABLEDespite the strong on-field showing, the Rays’ announced home attendance of 1,154,973 was their lowest since 2005 (1 Carlos Beltran Jersey ,141,699). Tampa Bay drew 1,253,619 last season. Sunday’s crowd was 13,313. Only Miami (811,104) drew fewer fans.STAYING THE COURSEThe Rays are happy with the progress of two-way player Brendan McKay at Single-A Charlotte this season and plan to continue the experiment. “Where this ends up going I think we don’t know exactly still, but we’re really encouraged,” Tampa Bay senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom said.Bloom said McKay, whose season ended prematurely because of an oblique injury, has been working in the instructional league and has gotten back “to where he’s a healthy player.”RAYS’ HOT STREAKSTommy Pham walked in the third to extend his on-base streak to 32 games, the longest active streak in the majors. Johnny Damon holds the team record with 39. … Wendle set a club rookie record by hitting .300. … Mallex Smith stole 40 bases.UP NEXTBlue Jays: Open the 2019 season at home against Detroit on March 28.Rays: Host AL West champion Houston on opening day of 2019. BOSTON — Having reached 100 victories for the first time in more than seven decades http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-brian-mccann-jersey , the Boston Red Sox send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound hoping to sweep their three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night at Fenway Park.With David Price turning in another masterful performance and the only run of the game scoring on a wild pitch, the Red Sox won 1-0 Wednesday night to reach 100 wins for the first time since 1946 — and only the fourth time in franchise history.Rodriguez will face Sam Gaviglio as the Red Sox look to take their 15th win in 19 tries against the Blue Jays this season.Article continues below ...From the Red Sox’s postgame notes after Wednesday’s game:–Alex Cora became the first manager to lead a team to 100 or more wins in his first season with the club since Felipe Alou (2003 Giants, 100-61) and the first manager to lead a team to 100 wins in his first year as an major-league manager since Dusty Baker (1993 Giants, 103-59).–Cora became the second Red Sox manager to lead the team to 100 wins in his first season with Boston, joining Jake Stahl (105-47 in 1912).The franchise record, set in 1912, is 105 wins.After Thursday, the Red Sox will face New York teams for six games, hosting the Mets over the weekend and visiting the Yankees next week.But first it’s another game with the Jays, who have won only once at Fenway this season.Price pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 15-6 and remains unbeaten — and very tough to hit — since the All-Star break.“The goal is to win the World Series,” Cora said. “Since day one we’ve talked about it here. I still remember that press conference. Obviously Josh Reddick Jersey , we’ve got a shot now.”With the New York Yankees losing again in Minneapolis, the Red Sox’s magic number for clinching their third straight American League East crown is seven. The magic number to clinch the best record is nine.Price, who went 9-1 to help the Blue Jays into the 2015 postseason, improved to 21-3 lifetime against Toronto.Aaron Sanchez pitched very well for the visitors, but lost the game on that wild pitch.“He had a real good fastball, he threw some good breaking balls he kept down in the zone and he threw some good changeups,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “You hate to lose on a wild pitch, but that’s what happened. But he keeps moving in the right direction.”Rodriguez (12-4, 3.64 ERA) lost his last start, allowing five runs and six hits — including two homers — in 3 1/3 innings against Houston. He is 3-3 with a 4.63 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) in his career against Toronto, but 2-0 Tyler Clippard Jersey , 2.41 in three starts this year.Gaviglio comes in 3-8 with a 5.25 ERA, but one of the wins was against Boston, in relief. This will be his fifth appearance of the season against the Red Sox, the third straight start. He is 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in his four games against the Red Sox this season and is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in two starts at Fenway.J.D. Martinez has two hits in eight at-bats against Gaviglio, but both hits are home runs.The Red Sox said Wednesday that Chris Sale, who came off the disabled list and pitched an inning — 26 pitches, two strikeouts — Tuesday, felt fine the day after. That had been a problem in his two previous games. He will shoot for three innings Sunday against the Mets.