ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shane Baz pitched two-hit ball for five innings to win his major league debut and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays cut Toronto’s lead in the wild-card chase, holding off the Blue Jays, 6-4, Monday night.
Tampa Bay holds a seven-game advantage over the Red Sox with 11 games remaining.
The Blue Jays, who scored twice in the ninth inning and left the bases loaded, had their edge over the Yankees for the second AL wild-card spot drop to a half-game.
Baz (1-0) gave up a pair of home runs and little else, striking out five and walking none. The 22-year-old righty, promoted from Triple-A Durham, was on this year’s silver medal-winning US Olympic baseball team.
Toronto, 15-4 in September, got homers from Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Marcus Semien.