ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Nathan Karns mixed in his changeup Wednesday in an attempt to keep the Blue Jays off balance, and it worked as the rookie carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Tampa Bay’s 1-0 loss in 12 innings at Tropicana Field.
Karns, who walked Edwin Encarnacion to start the second inning, allowed a one-out single to CF Kevin Pillar in the sixth. He allowed two more hits and issued two more walks, finishing the day with six strong innings.
“I was mixing, trying to keep them off balance, trying to stay ahead, because any one of them in the lineup could drive it out of the park,” Karns said. “Was working with (C Curt Casali). He saw a lot of things that I didn’t, and I trust him. All I had to do was execute, and it worked out for the best.”
Karns used that changeup to get his biggest out of the game. It came in the sixth inning after two-out walks to Jose Reyes and Josh Donaldson loaded the bases.
Karns threw an 0-1 changeup to Jose Bautista, and Bautista popped up to 3B Evan Longoria.
“His changeup was outstanding,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Streak ends for Geltz
RHP Steve Geltz extended his team-record streak of consecutive batters retired to 32 before allowing a single to Ezequiel Carrera with one out in the 11th inning, his second inning of work.
Geltz said he wasn’t thinking about extending his own perfect game of sorts, since it was his 10th appearance during the streak.
“Extra innings, just trying to get outs,” he said. “It was a great run. Defense is the whole reason I got this far.”
1B James Loney (fractured left middle finger) played catch and hit off a tee for the first time since suffering the injury. ... RHP Erasmo Ramirez (strained right groin) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday or Saturday. ... LHP Drew Smyly (torn labrum) played long toss at 120 feet Wednesday.
Wednesday was the Rays’ third 1-0 loss of the season. They had four in 2014. ... It was the fourth time in team history the Rays allowed a home run in extra innings to snap a scoreless tie and the third time they were shut out in a game that lasted at least 12 innings. ... The Jays won for only the third time this season when scoring three or fewer runs.