The hottest team in baseball finally hit an obstacle it couldn't overcome.
Monday night, Toronto's 11-game win streak — the longest such streak in MLB this season — was snapped by Tampa Bay in a 4-1 loss. The big blow came courtesy of rookie outfielder Wil Myers's first Tropicana Field at-bat. He introduced himself to the home fans and Blue Jays starter Esmil Rogers with a homer that went roughly 900 feet (above).
The blast to center field, Myers's second of the year, earned him a curtain call from the Tampa faithful. It was also the second of three straight homers for the Rays. Just before Myers's shot, James Loney continued his unexpected 2013 resurgence by launching a ball to right field for his ninth homer of the year. And before the fans could settle down from the back-to-back homers from Loney and Myers, Sam Fuld went ahead and made it three in a row with a homer of his own.
That back-to-back-to-back (GIF below) display was, according to the Tampa broadcasting duo of Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson, the first time in team history the Rays have hit three straight homers in a home game.
(By the way, if you predicted before the season James Loney and Sam Fuld would be part of any back-to-back-to-back homer parade this year, much less a history-making one, you are a crazy person and should seek help.)
Those three dingers, all off Rogers, were more than enough for Tampa starter Jeremy Hellickson. He cruised through seven innings with just 96 pitches and one hit allowed. The young righthander walked four and struck out four. It's Hellickson's second straight strong start, following a six-inning, two-run effort against Boston on June 19, and may be a sign he's finally turning around what's been a difficult 2013. The Rays could use it. With Alex Cobb (concussion) and David Price (triceps) sidelined and Roberto Hernandez and Chris Archer middling, they need a second starter to support Matt Moore.
Alex Torres gave up a run in the eighth (his first allowed run since Sept. 24, 2011), but escaped a two-on, two-out jam by getting Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to right. Fernando Rodney finished things up in the ninth inning, working around a J.P. Arencibia single off his glove to collect his 16th save.
The win keeps Tampa ahead of Toronto in the AL East by two games. All five teams in the division remain above .500.