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Ryne Stanek is set for a new role in the Tampa Bay rotation – sort of.

 

The reliever will likely now start two out of every five games in the Rays‘ ongoing bullpen-day experiment.

Wilson Ramos homered James Washington Color Rush Jersey , six Tampa Bay relievers combined for a five-hitter and the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Tuesday night.

With right-handers Chris Archer and Jake Faria on the disabled list, Tampa Bay is using relievers to start three times through the rotation.

Stanek opened the game, striking out three in two perfect innings, and was followed by Austin Pruitt (2 2/3 innings), Jonny Venters (one-third of an inning), Chaz Roe (1 1/3 innings), Jose Alvarado (1 2/3 innings) and Sergio Romo (one inning).

”We won, so it’s a pretty good day,” Stanek said. ”It’s like anything, the more you do something, the more comfortable you’re going to be. It’s definitely starting to become a little more normal. It’s not really coming like a surprise.”

It was Stanek’s fourth start.

”Stanek set the tone,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”The big story of the game was the bullpen, how they pieced it together.”

Pruitt (2-3) allowed four hits and a run but picked up the win. Romo allowed the other hit but locked down his second save.

”It’s always fun seeing guys come in behind you and get the job done,” Pruitt said.

Tampa Bay has won three of four following an eight-game skid.

Ramos put the Rays up 2-0 with his two-run drive off Jaime Garcia (2-5) in the third.

Garcia gave up four runs Ian Thomas Color Rush Jersey , four hits, four walks and struck out four in five-plus innings. The left-hander is 1-4 in seven road starts, allowing 28 earned runs over 31 1/3 innings.

”I competed and tried to make pitches,” Garcia said. ”There’s a couple of walks there that I’ve got to do a better there.”

Garcia departed after C.J Cron walked and went to third on Willy Adames‘ double to start the sixth. Pinch-hitter Joey Wendle and Mallex Smith both had run-scoring singles off Joe Biagini that made it 4-1.

Toronto had runners on second and third with no outs in the fifth but scored just once on Devon Travis‘ grounder off Pruitt.

”We had a chance to tie it, and then who knows?” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

The Blue Jays have been held to one run or fewer 11 times.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf tightness) remains day to day. … RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) will make a rehab start Wednesday night with Class A Dunedin.

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (right thumb torn ligament) went 2 for 4 with a walk in his first minor league rehab game with Class A Charlotte and hopes to be back June 22. … OF Johnny Field (sore knee) was available off the bench.

HOUSE OF HORRORS

The Blue Jays have dropped the first two games in the three-game set and are 73-105 at Tropicana Field. It’s the most losses at any road ballpark since 1998, the Rays’ inaugural season. ”They’ve always held us in check down here,” Gibbons said. ”I don’t care what the roster is, I don’t care what team is here. It’s always kind of been that way.”

REACHING A DECADE

Romo reached 10 years of major league service time Monday and was given a postgame celebration by his teammates. ”A pretty awesome day,” Romo said.

UP NEXT

Tampa Bay RHP Wilmer Font (0-1) will start another bullpen game Wednesday against Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (8-3).

Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner has no plans to restrict Cam Newton’s ability to make plays with his feet. As for the quarterback’s throwing motion, well that might need a little tweaking.

The 65-year-old Turner said he returned to coaching because of an opportunity to work again with Panthers coach Ron Rivera – who was on his coaching staff for four seasons in San Diego – and to coach the talented group of offensive players led by Newton.

”He’s an amazing player for his position,” Turner said Tuesday on a conference call.

The versatile 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton has carried the ball 828 times over the past seven seasons – by far the most in the league by a quarterback during that span. By comparison, Seattle’s Russell Wilson has run the ball 578 times during his six seasons in the league.

While it’s logical to question how much pounding Newton’s body can take – he turns 29 in May – it’s also hard to argue with his success.

He’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry and has scored 54 touchdowns rushing, which is the most by a QB in NFL history. And Newton tends to play better when he’s more involved in the running game.

”He’s a real threat to defenses Joel Iyiegbuniwe Color Rush Jersey ,” Tuner said. ”So he will always have that threat to run.”

That should be music to Newton’s ears.

After Newton carried the ball a career-high 139 times last season and led the Panthers in rushing with 754 yards, he said ”that’s my edge.”

”I wouldn’t expect you or anybody else to take it away,” Newton said following Carolina’s season-ending playoff loss at New Orleans. ”And when I say you, I mean the media as a whole. I’m comfortable running the football, I feel like I help the team when I’m running the football, and as long as I’m playing this game, I’m going to run the football.”

Turner suggested that he and his son Scott Turner, the team’s new quarterbacks coach, will look to improve Newton’s throwing mechanics.

Because he’s so big Newton has a tendency to rely on his strong arm and throw off his back foot, often resulting in high throws that lead to incompletions or interceptions. Turner said that while sometimes those types of throws are necessary under pressure, the staff ”is going to work hard to get his weight transferred and have good technique when he is throwing.”

Turner said the Panthers overall system won’t change much, although he wants to be able to stretch the field vertically to force defenses to cover the entire field.

He believes Newton has the arm strength to do that.

Turner said he had a brief conversation with Newton after being hired.

”We didn’t get into a lot of football,” Turner said. ”As he expressed to me – and I feel the same way – there is excitement and nervousness. When you have change there is nervousness. Sometimes that nervousness is good and it gets your attention. It’s not status quo and you use that as a time to improve.”

 

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