THE BLUE JAYS TAKE THE SERIES AGAINST THE TAMPA BAY RAYS, RECORDING THEIR FIRST BACK-TO-BACK WINS OF THE YEAR.
After a great performance from the Blue Jays bullpen yesterday, the Jays look to take the series this Sunday afternoon, and win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Blue Jays ace Aaron Sanchez, made his first start today, coming off the DL with a blister in his throwing hand. The Rays countered with an ace of their own, Chris Archer. In Archer’s first start against the Blue Jays this season he was his usual self, pitching 7.2 innings, allowing two earned runs, while striking out eight.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 3R, 7H, 1E
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 1R, 4H, 0E
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 30, 2017
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 30, 2017
Ryan Tepera had yet another great outing in relief today, showing he might be the go to long man out the Blue Jays pen this year. Today he pitched a career high 3.1 relief innings, striking out five batters, only allowing one hit, and didn’t give up a walk. Aaron Loup followed up Tepera’s strong performance with a solid outing of his own. Pitching 2 innings, no hits, one strikeout, he did have two walks but induced a lot of double plays making sure those runners didn’t advanced.
In the bottom of the eighth inning with Darwin Barney standing on second base, the Rays sent Alex Colome to face off against the middle of the Blue Jays lineup. Jose Bautista would smack a double off the top of the wall, scoring Barney tying up the game at one a piece. The Ray opted to intentionally walk Kendrys Morales, taking their chances of getting the final two outs somewhere else. Justin Smoak would strike out, and the it looked like the Blue Jays rally was coming to an end.
Russell Martin would come up in a big spot, and would come up with today’s biggest hit, as he would extend the Blue Jays lead with a blooper down the right field line, scoring Bautista. Ezequiel Carrera would be called upon to pinch hit for Steve Pearce. Carrera would extend his 10-game hitting streak with a sharply hit ground ball up the middle, scoring Morales. Even though Brad Miller was able to stretch out for it, his throw to second would bobble off the glove of Daniel Robertson, and the Blue Jays would get their insurance run going up 3-1 heading into the 9th inning.
Although he had some tough bounces, Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna would record his third save of the season, striking out two batters, and inducing a popup from Evan Longoria. Two men would reach base in the ninth off a throwing error from Ryan Goins, and a single by Logan Morris which would have been an easy out if it didn’t ricochet off the glove of Osuna. It may have become a bit of a nail biter in the ninth inning, but this was a very encouraging outing from Osuna.
Aaron Sanchez looked great in the first inning, but that’s all we would see from him this afternoon. Sanchez re-aggravated his injury, leaving the game with a split nail on his right middle finger (same nail that sent him to the DL before) per Hazel Mae. It looks like he will be headed towards another DL stint.
The Blue Jays continue to struggle against Archer, who had another magnificent start today. Going 7.1 innings, only allowing four hits, one earned run, walking two, and striking out five.
- Troy Tulowitzki who is on the DL (hamstring) took batting practice again before the game. Both Tulowitzki and Donaldson, will head to the Blue Jays practice facility in Florida to continue their rehab.
- With a double in the eighth inning, Jose Bautista became the 9th Blue Jay in franchise history to have at least 1000 hits
- The Blue Jays will head onto the road for a six games, facing off against two AL East opponents starting tomorrow against the Yankees, and a weekend series in Tampa.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The Jays won TWO games in a row and the SERIES versus the RAYS. Who's yout @JaysFromCouch Player of the Game?
— Roy-Z ☘ (@rolewiii) April 30, 2017
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Spencer Redmond is a Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. His loves in life are the NBA, MLB, Stats, and his dog Parker.