Even another excellent start from Chris Archer wasn’t going to prevent the Toronto Blue Jays from a win tonight.
Following an off day and a series defeat from the dirty Yanks, the Blue Jays would look to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Rays. Standing in their way would be Tropicana Field and Chris Archer (2-1, 3.43 ERA). The Jays, however, would get the benefit of sending one of their pitchers who was actually on their opening day roster to the mound. Francisco Liriano (2-2, 3.97 ERA) was tasked with leading his teammates on to victory.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 8 R, 9 H, 1 E
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 4 R, 7 H, 0 E
BLUE JAYS (Fancy Style!!)
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) May 5, 2017
TAMPA BAY RAYS
5/5 #Rays lineup vs TOR
Souza Jr. RF
Weeks Jr. 1B
— MLB Lineups (@mlblineups) May 5, 2017
Lead off the highlights with the lead off hitter. Kevin Pillar was incredible again tonight. Not only was Superman responsible for driving in the run to take the lead back, but he also finished an impressive three for five at the dish with a run and a RBI.
Pillar wasn’t the only one swinging a hot bat tonight either. Kendrys Morales was not going to stand idly by tonight and watch the Jays fall further into the basement. Morales hit two home runs on the night, including the game-tying run off Archer. He followed it up with a three-run shot that would put the game out of reach in the seventh. Kendrys would finish three for four with three runs and five RBIs. His teammates expressed their admiration:
Kendrys is a strong man
— Danny Barnes (@DjbMantis) May 6, 2017
Aaron Loup was also excellent in tonight’s game. Loup was given the incredibly difficult task of limiting damage in the seventh. Dominic Leone started the inning and gave up a leadoff single to notorious Toronto thorn Evan Longoria. He got the double play ball from Steven Souza Jr. only to see his defense let him down (a Chris Coghlan error would leave all runners safe). So the Blue Jays turned to the Wolf. With two on and none out, an infield single from Corey Dickerson loaded the bases. Loup then K’d Rickie Weeks Jr, allowed a groundout RBI from Daniel Robertson, and coaxed a Derek Norris flyout to allow the Blue Jays to escape with just the one run crossing the plate.
Finally, we can’t leave out Justin Smoak. Smoak cashed in Morales after Kendrys’ leadoff double, getting the Jays on the board. The first baseman also smacked a home run to tack on to the Blue Jays newly acquired lead in the top of the eighth and finish two for four with a run and two RBI.
With so much of the staff being injured, the Blue Jays need quality starts from their original rotation. Unfortunately, they did not get that tonight. Francisco Liriano was unable to get out off the fourth inning, exiting with a lackluster line of 5H, 3R, 3ER, 5BB, 5Ks and 2HRs. He seemed unable to find the plate tonight with the majority of his 93 pitches, and when he did, he was getting smashed for hits by a lacklustre Tampa team. Maybe next time he’s due to start in Tropicana Field, he’ll wear some sunglasses.
Liriano also cause some controversy by plunking Kevin Kiermaier during that inning with an errant fastball. The guy who keeps taking Kevin Pillar‘s Gold Glove had to leave the game, replaced by ex-Jay Colby Rasmus. Kiermaier shot his mouth off after the game, blaming the left-hander for running him up and in.
— Steve Kinsella (@Steve_Kinsella1) May 6, 2017
Given Liriano’s command issues on the mound, this is a hilariously off-base sentiment and given the recent dust-ups MLB has had between the Orioles and Red Sox caused by beanballs, Kiermaier may be better served to think before issuing declarations.
Kiermaier questioning Liriano is like you questioning the weather, asking if it abandoned randomness to target you without reason. Baseless.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 6, 2017
Jose Bautista struggled on the night. Joey Bats went an awful 0 for 5 and turned in the golden sombrero. Hopefully, he was just celebrating Cinco de Mayo and will be back to getting himself on base tomorrow.
Steve Pearce also turned in a stinker at the dish following his phenomenal Yankees series going 0 for 4 with a strikeout. Double agent??? Naa…..
Chris Coghlan was also a lowlight in tonight’s game. Not only did he go 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, but he also made what could have been a very costly error in the seventh.
The final lowlight goes to the Trop. The Rays got on the board with a strange Daniel Robertson home run through the rings that had to be reviewed. Joke stadium.
A lot went down today in Blue Jays land. Old faces are gone, new faces in, and familiar faces playing in new roles would highlight the day.
Joe Biagini will start for #BlueJays Sunday per manager John Gibbons
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) May 5, 2017
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) May 5, 2017
— Ryan Andrews 📎 (@NeoAC18) May 5, 2017
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 5, 2017
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Have your voice be heard! Get in on the player of the game.
Hey, that wasn't so bad. Vote for your @JaysFromCouch Player of the Game for a rare win at the Trop!
— Roy-Z ☘ (@rolewiii) May 6, 2017
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A group benefits consultant by day, Dustin is sports fanatic who loves talking sports more than anything. A self-glossed stats geek, he loves diving into the numbers behind the game. A proud father of 2 amazing kids, Dustin was born in Calgary, and now lives in Morinville.