The Blue Jays are in a race against the Red Sox to keep their first place spot in the AL East. It will be an ongoing battle until the end and every win will count. The Sox are playing the Oakland Athletics this weekend and there is no reason why they shouldn’t take the series, so Blue Jays will be pulling out all the stops in order to get wins against the Rays. The Rays already took game 1 from the Jays and are proving to be better than their record reflects.
The first inning went fairly well for Blake Snell. The first 2 batters got out; Jose Bautista on a pop to center and Josh Donaldson grounded out to 2nd. After a long battle at the plate with Edwin Encarnacion, he drew a walk, but it didn’t matter because Snell struck out the next batter; the DH Russell Martin. Marco Estrada made quick work of the Rays in the 1st; 3 up 3 down. Another great inning for Snell. Navarro had and extended at bat, but ended up popping out. Snell had already done better this outing than last. He is looking very comfortable on the mound. Another quick inning for the Rays; Brad Miller, Matt Duffy, and Logan Morrison all out.
In the 3rd Snell got his first base runner off a blooper to right center off the bat of Devon Travis. Bautista was up, but popped to Logan Forsythe at 2nd. Donaldson worked his count and drew a walk so there was 2 on and 2 out for Encarnacion who got a single to shallow center for the first run of the game. 1-0 Blue Jays. Still with 2 on and 2 out, Snell was able to strike out Martin to close out the inning with minimal damage. Estrada just his first base runner by way of a walk to Corey Dickerson. Dickerson was caught stealing 2nd to close out the 3rd. 1-0 Blue Jays. Snell did not let the one run in the 3rd shake his confidence as he came out and had a perfect 4th. The Rays for hit of the game came off the bat of Forsythe, but sadly at first is where he would stay stranded and the Rays will go into the 5th with a score of 1-0 Blue Jays.
Snell had a beautiful 5th inning and closed it out by getting his 5th K to Bautista. The Rays get their 2nd base runner of the game when Nick Franklin knocks one to shallow right center, but they can’t catch a break and Dickerson gets out on a pop foul. Score still 1-0 Blue Jays. In the 6th, Snell had another stellar inning and raised his strikeout count to 7. Cash said I really don’t know exactly what had changed with Snell this game but “his change-up was working”. He also said Snell “really did a nice job, even though his pitch count got a little high” but he went to to say that against this Blue Jays lineup, that is to be expected.
In the 6th, things would start changing for the Rays. Oh did I say change? I meant blow up! Bobby Wilson and Forsythe would single and there would be 2 on and 2 out for Kiermaier. Kiermaier would lay down a perfect bunt and made it to first to load the bases. Longoria stepped to plate and tied the game with a single. Miller would get a bases loaded walk for the go ahead run. Then the shortstop Matt Duffy would knock hit an epic, bases clearing double to make the score 5-1 Rays and no outs. “Duff came up with a huge hit that was pieced together with a walk, but the bases clearing double was the hit of the night”, said Cash. The Rays made it back to Wilson in the lineup with 2 outs and men on the corners.
Ramirez came in in relief for Snell and despite a sticky situation, the Rays escape the 7th unscaithed with their lead infact. 5-1 Rays. At the plate, the Rays start strong with a single to right by Forsythe. Kiermaier would extend the Rays lead when he hits his 8th home run of the season. 7-1 Rays. The hits keeping coming with a single by Miller, but he would be called out in a double play. Ryan Garton would take the mound in the 8th for the Rays and have a quick 3 up 3 down with pop flies. Perfect. 7-1 Rays.
Dickerson doubled up the right field line, Wilson would get another single, and Forsythe would be walked to first; now it’s up to Kiermaier to add insult to the already injured Blue Jays. He would strike out to close out the 8th. This home run turned out to be huge given the events that happened after. “That’s why you don’t stop” Cash said. Enny Romero would come in to close out the game in this non save situation. He did not do well, having 3 runs scored on him cutting the Rays lead to 7-4. Cash decided to bring in Colome for the last out. “Ideally you don’t want to go into that inning thinking you gotta get your closer up, but Enny hit a rough patch,” said Cash. Colome did not do much better having an additional run scored, but was able to get the last out on a fly to left for a Rays win . Final score 7-5 Rays.
W: Snell (5-7) L: Estrada (8-7) S: Colome (30)
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