Jays From the Couch brings you the highlights & lowlights of the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays
The Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Tampa Bay Rays as both teams sent out talented pitching to start off this contest. Marcus Stroman took the mound of the Blue Jays while Alex Cobb started for the Rays. Marco Estrada also got some action in this game. This would be Stroman’s last start before the World Baseball Classic. Jose Bautista was also in the lineup before he heads off to the tournament. Steve Pearce was in the DH spot also. So, there was lots to watch for today.
Tampa Bay Rays: 5 R, 10 H, 1 E
Toronto Blue Jays: 3 R, 8 H, 3 E
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 5, 2017
#Rays lineup: Dickerson lf, Kiermaier cf, Longoria 3B, Miller 2b, Weeks 1b, Beckham ss, Maile c, Franklin DH, Smith rf, Cobb p
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 5, 2017
The first inning saw Stroman working his offspeed stuff to perfection. He struck out Evan Longoria and had Brad Miller way out in front. The defense behind Stroman had to deal with a nasty wind that took a flyball from CF all the way over to LF where Melvin Upton Jr.did his best to catch up to it, but it fell in front of him. That would be the only hit that inning as Rowdy Tellez helped out his pitcher with a heck of a play on a grounder to his left. The second inning would be just as uneventful for Stroman. He would pitch into the 3rd. His final line: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Bautista led off the bottom of the 2nd with a 3-0 double down the LF line. He then caught the Rays napping and stole 3rd easily. The next batter, Steve Pearce hit a fly ball to RF and his sacrifice would allow Jose to trot home for the game’s first run. This put the Blue Jays up 1-0.
Marco Estrada entered the game in the 4th inning for his 2017 Spring Training debut. His back looked just fine as he made short work of the 3 batters he faced that inning, including a strike out of Tim Beckham on the change up. The 5th inning wasn’t any different as Estrada he allowed a runner in Mallex Smith, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Smith would be erased by Russell Martin on the stolen base attempt. Estrada would end his day with 2 innings of work. His final line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
In the 6th inning, Roberto Osuna continued the steady diet of good watching by taking the mound. He looked free and easy, collecting 2 strike outs on 7 pitches, all of which were strikes. He would exit the game after a brief day’s work.
Pillar led off the 6th inning with an opposite field double. Darrell Ceciliani came in to run for him and reached third when Reese McGuire grounded out. The next batter, Jon Berti, hit a ground ball to short, which sent Ceciliani home. He was safe. The score was 2-1 Blue Jays. Berti would make his way to third base, from where he would score when Steve Pearce dropped a single into CF. 3-1 Blue Jays.
Kevin Pillar led off the game with a single off Alex Cobb. He seemed to be a distraction as Cobb threw over to first a couple of times. Perhaps Pillar thought he’d take advantage of the attention a base stealer would command as he took off for second on a ball in the dirt. He was out. It wasn’t the best decision, but you have to like the effort.
The Blue Jays had Stroman on a pitch count of 45 for this contest. He passed it in the 3rd inning with 2 outs. The club decided to let him face Longoria with a runner on 2nd. That decision resulted in the longtime Rays 3B stroking an RBI single to RF, which brought the score to 1-1. That ended his outing as he was lifted for Aaron Loup.
The 8th inning saw Bo Schultz get himself into some trouble with 2 straight singles and a wild pitch. Then, Andrew Valezquez singled in the Rays’ second run. Then, the floodgates opened and Casey Gillespie drove in a pair with a single to Ceciliani, who bobbled the ball. That brought the score to 4-3 Rays.
Ryan Tepera gave up a run in the 9th inning as Dayron Verona drove in Johnny Field on a groundball and a bad throw by Yeltsin Gudino. Tepera wouldn’t be credited with the run since there was an error on the play, but it brought the score to 5-3.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.