The Rays lost for an MLB-high 11th time while allowing two runs or less Friday in dropping a 2-1 game to the Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay outhit Toronto 10-4 in the contest, but could muster only a single run, that coming when Desmond Jennings homered in the third.
The Rays had pinch-runner Elliot Johnson cut down at home plate for the final out of the game. They’ve now lost 11 of their last 12 one-run games.
Brandon Morrow was the winning pitcher for the Jays tonight in his second start back from a strained oblique. He allowed one run on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings and struck out five.
Jeremy Hellickson fell to 8-10 despite allowing just two runs in six innings. The Jays got their runs on solo homers from Moises Sierra and Edwin Encarnacion.
Tampa Bay has scored more than two runs in just one of Hellickson’s 10 losses. They’ve scored three runs or fewer in 17 of his 25 starts.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.