TORONTO — For a rookie pitcher making his second career start, it was no surprise that nerves were a factor for Jake Faria.
Not that he showed many in building on his major-league debut last week with his second straight victory in an 8-1 Tampa Bay Rays win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Faria (2-0) became the third Ray all-time to win his first two career games, joining Jeremy Hellickson and Joe Kennedy, as Tampa registered its sixth victory in its last seven games.
“Sometimes I feel (nervous) a little bit and then everyone’s like ‘You didn’t show anything.'” he said. “I think my face is just frozen when I’m out there. I don’t know what happens.”
The 23-year-old right-hander held the Blue Jays to six hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight and giving up one run. After being sent down after shutting down the Chicago White Sox last Wednesday in a 3-1 victory, he was called up on Monday to replace Matt Andriese, who went on the disabled list with a hip complaint.
Faria’s performance, especially on the occasions when he got behind in the count, showed a lot of poise for a 23-year-old, leaving manager Kevin Cash to comment on his ability to shut out any distractions.
“It doesn’t seem like he gets overly amped on anything and that’s the sign of a pitcher that’s in control and that’s what he showed,” Cash said.
He was backed by an offense that produced 16 hits, just two shy of the season high, with every member of the Rays getting at least one. Corey Dickerson led the way, going 4 of 5 as he registered his 15th home run of the season, a solo shot in the ninth inning.
Taylor Featherston’s first home run of the season and Logan Morrison’s 18th got Tampa rolling in a bat-around third inning against Toronto starter Marco Estrada (4-5), who suffered his sixth straight loss against Tampa.
“We’ve done a pretty good job against him this year,” Morrison said. “I think it’s just one of those things.”
Estrada (4-5) had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 3 1/3 innings after giving up 12 hits and being charged with six runs in his sixth straight loss to Tampa. Over his last three starts, the Toronto left-hander is now 0-3 with a 12.07 ERA.
“It sucks,” Estrada said. “I know I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few outings but I’m not worried about it. I felt pretty good out there. I know things are going to change for me.”
Featherston’s home run marked the earliest that the Rays have reached 100 home runs in a season, coming in just the 67th game, surpassing last season’s club record of 68 games.
Tuesday’s game marked the 464th consecutive Rays game started by a pitcher under the age of 30, the longest current streak in the majors. 35-year-old Erik Bedard on July 3, 2014, was the last pitcher 30 years or older to start for Tampa.
Daniel Robertson’s bat sailed out of his hands as he swung and missed in the fifth inning, but after bouncing off the top of the Blue Jays’ dugout it landed safely in the hands of a fan.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner threw out the first pitch on Tuesday night. Marner, who had 19 goals and 42 assists in his recently completed rookie campaign, successfully completed his throw to Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who promptly autographed the ball for the young hockey star.
Almost 20 years since Roger Clemens last suited up for them, the Blue Jays drafted his son, Kacy, in the eighth round of the MLB draft on Tuesday. Clemens, a first baseman, was the offensive MVP for the University of Texas in his senior season.
Roger Clemens won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in his two seasons with the Blue Jays from 1997-98.
Rays: SS/2B Tim Beckham sat out Tuesday’s game with a sore knee. Manager Kevin Cash said Beckham was being rested and the team would see how he felt on Wednesday. . C Wilson Ramos joined Triple-A Durham on a rehab assignment in his continued quest to come back from a torn knee ligament.
Blue Jays: OF Steve Pearce has been moved to Triple-A as he continues his rehab assignment from a calf strain. Pearce has been on the disabled list since May 15. . RHP Aaron Sanchez is due to begin throwing off a mound in the next couple of days, according to Jays manager John Gibbons. Sanchez suffered a finger laceration and was placed on the DL on May 20.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.59 ERA) has allowed a home run in eight consecutive starts, tied for the second-longest active streak in the majors.
Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (3-2, 5.87) makes his fourth start of the season against Tampa Bay, looking to improve to 2-0 against Toronto’s AL East division rival.