A rough final inning dampened an otherwise solid performance in Marcus Stroman's most recent start.
Despite a shaky ending to his season opener, Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
Taking the mound on his 25th birthday, Stroman looks for a more complete effort while trying to continue his undefeated run Sunday against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Stroman (3-0, 4.37 ERA) has had his issues through five outings but is 8-0 over 10 regular-season starts since last losing Sept. 15, 2014. He yielded just a first-inning run through six Monday before being changed with three more in a five-run seventh for the Chicago White Sox that led to Toronto's 7-5 defeat.
"I play the game extremely passionately, and I was just extremely frustrated with the way things played out there," the right-hander told MLB's official website. "I felt pretty good all night, and I was just really frustrated with the way things turned out.
"I felt like I didn't do my job in the end, when I felt so good, so it was pretty frustrating."
Stroman pitched into the ninth at Tampa Bay on April 3 but left after failing to retire the first two hitters. He allowed three runs and six hits in the 5-3 victory.
"I want to finish games," Stroman said after that contest. "That's the mentality. That's the motto."
Toronto (11-14) blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 en route to Saturday's 4-3 defeat. Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer and Kevin Pillar had a solo shot as both combined for the three hits by the Blue Jays, who have lost four of five.
They've totaled 10 runs and 18 hits in the last four, and six of their 10 hits in this series have left the park.
Bautista is 2 for 13 in those four while Troy Tulowitzki is 0 for 12. Edwin Encarnacion is 0 for 11 in the last three. Bautista and Encarnacion are a combined 3 for 31 against Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 3.58).
The right-hander has allowed nine runs and 17 hits in 10-plus innings of two road starts, but two earned in 17 2/3 frames of three at home. One of those runs came along with 10 strikeouts through 5 2/3 innings of a 3-2 win over Toronto on April 5. He gave up the other over five innings of Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Baltimore.
Odorizzi, however, has thrown at least 94 pitches in each of his five starts and completed more than six innings just once.
"Yeah, my pitch count has really frustrated me," he said. "Just don't press the issue. Usually when you press the issue it gets worse."
A solo homer highlighted Logan Forsythe's three-hit night Saturday for the Rays (11-12), who avoided a third consecutive defeat when Curt Casali delivered a winning single in the ninth. Tampa Bay is 6-0 when scoring at least four runs in a game.
"It's a good win," said Casali, who is 7 for 48 on the season. "I'm just happy to contribute to a win."
Forsythe, who has gotten on base in 12 of his last 17 plate appearances, is 20 for 45 in 12 games after going 8 for 37 in his first 10. He's gone hitless in four at-bats against Stroman this year.