Blue Jays aim to keep surging against Rays


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Starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker tossed five solid innings, but with the Blue Jays closing in on the Rays and New York Yankees in the standings, the team may be willing to add a piece as the Aug. 31 trade deadline nears.

Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said that addition could be made on the mound.

“It would be starting pitching,” Atkins said Thursday. “If there’s ways to continue to build upon that depth, we will look to do that. Our bullpen has actually been one of the strengths of the team this year and has been very effective, but at the same time, thinking about pitching and preventing runs is where the focus will be.”

Lefty Hyun Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.46), who made his first career start against the Rays on Opening Day on July 24 at the Trop, will make his sixth start in 2020 on Saturday. He pitched 4 2/3 innings in his AL debut last month against the Rays, allowing three runs on four hits.

He has worked six innings in each of his last two starts and has recorded victories in two of his last three outings.

The Rays lost for the first time in 13 games when they have scored at least five runs.

Tampa Bay received some bad news to its starting rotation on Friday as Venezuelan right-hander Yonny Chirinos, 26, was lost for the remainder of this season and likely all of 2021 with a torn UCL and will require Tommy John surgery.

Chirinos (0-0, 2.38) opened the season as the club’s No. 5 starter and had logged 11 1/3 innings in three starts, but his injury creates more burden on manager Kevin Cash’s staff.

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