Follow Ryan on Twitter
The season began with the defending American League East Champions, Toronto Blue Jays, in town to face the Rays in a four-game series that was split two games a piece between them. Fast forward to the end of April into the first day of May and both the Rays and Jays are struggling to stay at or above the .500 mark.
Who came out on top this weekend?
Read on, sports fans.
Jays 6 Rays 1
From the looks of the score, it may seem like lefty Drew Smyly finally had a rough start. You’d be wrong in assuming such things. Smyly would pitch six quality innings giving up just two runs on two hits before departing for a bullpen that’s been pretty solid most the season. However that wouldn’t be the case Friday night. Dana Eveland, Ryan Webb, and Jhan Marinez all combined to give up four runs in the final two innings of work for the relievers after Steve Geltz pitched a scoreless seventh. Jays left fielder, Michael Saunders, hit two home runs in the ballgame to pace the Toronto offense. Meanwhile, the Rays offense could get nothing going off Aaron Sanchez. It wasn’t until Drew Storen came into the game in relief in the eighth inning that shortstop Brad Miller would take him deep for the only run of the game for Tampa Bay.
WP: Sanchez (2-1) LP: Smyly (1-3)
Rays 4 Jays 3
It was bound to happen eventually. The Rays offense, with a reputation this season of scoring late in ballgames, was bound to walk-off at some point, right? Saturday, in a back and forth game since the third inning when the Jays led 2-1 thanks to a 2-run home run by Jose Bautista, the Rays scratched and clawed their way back in huge part to a three-for-three game from lead-off man, Logan Forsythe, who also added a game-tying home run in the seventh off J.A. Happ. Evan Longoria hit his fourth dinger of the season in the previous inning, as well. But it was catcher Curt Casali who would come to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after pinch-hitter, Brad Miller, would single to lead off, and Kevin Kiermaier’s double put him at third representing the winning run. Casali would take a 3-1, Brett Cecil pitch and single home Miller for the first walk-off of the year for the Rays and even the series. Chris Archer would follow his best start of the season last time out with another quality start, despite struggling with command early and walking four Jays hitters in six innings of work.
WP: Cedeno (1-0) LP: Cecil (0-5)
Jays 5 Rays 1
What would a Rays game be without a tie ballgame heading into the late innings? For the second night in a row, that’s how things would shape up at the Trop against the Blue Jays. Both starters would give up solo home runs, Jake Odorizzi to Josh Donaldson in the fourth and Marcus Stroman to Evan Longoria in the sixth. My how things changed in the ninth. Xavier Cedeno and Alex Colome combined to give up four runs, including a 3-run home run off the bat of Troy Tulowitski off Colome with two outs in the inning. Rays bats would go quietly in the bottom of the ninth to drop the series to Toronto and fall to 11-13 on the season.
W: Stroman (4-0) LP: Cedeno (2-1)
- Off day Monday before welcoming in the Los Angeles Dodgers for some inter-league action on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Trop.
5/3 – LAD Scott Kazmir (1-2, 5.76) v RAYS Matt Moore (1-2, 3.66)
5/4 – LAD Alex Wood (1-2, 4.82) v RAYS Drew Smyly (1-3, 2.60)
- Eight More Years of Hagel August 22, 2023
- 2021-23 NHL Draft Analyses August 20, 2023
- 2018-2020 NHL Draft Analyses August 14, 2023
- 2013-17 NHL Draft Analyses July 23, 2023
- 2007-12 NHL Draft Analyses July 17, 2023
- 2023 3v3 Prospect Tournament Recap July 13, 2023
- The Best Leader in the NHL July 2, 2023
- Depth deals kick off the first day of free agency for the Lightning July 1, 2023
- 2023 Draft Recap and More Tales June 29, 2023
- A Winning Organization (on and off the ice) May 6, 2023