Rays rally in ninth, edge Blue Jays

Josh Lowe sliced a walk-off single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays scored twice to rally past the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Down 6-5 against closer Jordan Romano (5-6), the Rays (95-61) tied it on Curtis Mead’s RBI single. With runners on first and second and one out, Junior Caminero was called out on a double-play grounder.

However, the Rays challenged the play, which was overturned and the team had new life. Lowe then sent a single that barely landed inside the left-field line to score Harold Ramirez with the game-winning run.

Winner Chris Devenski (5-4) tossed a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.

Yandy Diaz was 4-for-4 with a solo homer and a double, and Lowe had three hits including a three-run shot. Christian Bethancourt also went deep.

Rays top prospect Caminero, 20, made his major league debut and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run while batting fifth as the designated hitter.

In a four-run first, Diaz opened the scoring with a 401-foot homer to left-center on starter Hyun Jin Ryu’s 1-2 fastball. His 21st long ball was his fourth leading off thus far.

After Caminero drew a two-out walk with one on in his first career plate appearance, Lowe launched his 19th homer to center on Ryu’s 2-2 fastball for a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Bethancourt blasted the Rays’ third two-strike fastball home run off Ryu when he hit his 11th to left.

Rays starter Zack Littell allowed a single hit in each of the first five innings, plus a walk and a hit batsman, over a career-high 99 pitches, but the right-hander could not finish the sixth after throwing error by Mead and a wild pitch on a strikeout.

George Springer greeted reliever Shawn Armstrong with a two-run double. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio drove in one each to round out the four-run frame.

Bad defense turned into outstanding for the Rays in the seventh after pinch hitter Whit Merrifield reached and advanced to second on shortstop Taylor Walls’ throwing error.

But with one out and Merrifield on third, left fielder Ramirez — known more for his offensive skills – threw out Merrifield at home on a one-hop throw on a tag-up.

Trailing 5-4 against closer Pete Fairbanks in the eighth, Toronto (86-69) tied it and then took the lead on walks to Guerrero, Biggio and Merrifield, and Matt Chapman’s second hit by pitch.

Bo Bichette, Guerrero and Biggio had two hits apiece.