Anthony Kay struggles as Blue Jays fall to Rays

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Kay throws to live batters during full squad workouts at the team's spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla., on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Nesius

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays pounced on Toronto starter Anthony Kay early, then held on to defeat the Blue Jays 9-5 on Wednesday in Grapefruit League spring training

Tampa Bay scored four runs in the first inning off Kay, and added four more in the sixth to squash a Blue Jays comeback bid.

Kay, a 24-year-old left-hander acquired by the Blue Jays last season in the trade that sent Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets, lasted just 1/3 of an inning. He allowed one hit but walked four.

Bo Bichette hit a bases-clearing triple in the top of the third inning for Toronto, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drove in another run on a double to cut the deficit to 5-4. Bichette had two hits, one walk and a stolen base.

Patrick Kivlehan added a run for the Blue Jays on a ninth-inning solo homer.

All four of Tampa’s sixth-inning runs came with Toronto reliever Patrick Murphy on the mound. Three runs were earned.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow earned the win for the Rays. He allowed two hits and struck out three over 1 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays open the regular season at home March 26 against the Boston Red Sox.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.