Stroman Dazzles; Tulo Delivers Big Blow as Blue Jays win rubber match.

Blue Jays’ Stroman and Rays’ Odorizzi locked into an impressive pitchers duel on Sunday afternoon.

 

Today’s game featured another tough pitching matchup with Marcus Stroman facing off with Jake Odorizzi, and they most certainly didn’t disappoint early. Each pitcher put up zeroes through the first three innings, with Stroman allowing two hits, and two walk over forty-six pitches, and Odorizzi allowing only one free pass over forty-four pitches.

In the fourth inning Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson broke the deadlock when he caught backdoor slider that was left over the plate from Odorizzi, and drove it into the seats in left field for his ninth home run of the season.

 

The Blue Jays held the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth when old nemesis Evan Longoria caught a backup breaking ball out front, and drove his own home run into the left field seats to tie the game at one.

 

Tampa’s starter, Odorizzi, has himself an excellent game (7IP, 2H, ER, 2 BB, 6K, 106 pitches) but gave way to Erasmo Ramirez who completed a clean eighth inning.

The Rays bullpen ran into some trouble in the ninth when Xavier Cedeno started the inning giving up a double down the leftfield line to Darwin Barney. Michael Saunders drew a walk, before giving way to Alex Colome. Colome proceeded to walk Donaldson to load the bases with no outs before striking out Jose Bautista.

Edwin Encarnacion gave Toronto a 2-1 lead on a ground ball out to the left of second base which crossed up Tampa’s shift preventing them from turning an inning ending double play.  It turned out to be a huge non-play as the next hitter Troy Tulowitzki turned around Colome fastball for a huge three run home run – Toronto’s 8th of the series –  to help the Blue Jays go ahead 5-1.

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna came out for the ninth in a non-save situation to help close out this game, and give Toronto a 2-1 series win. 

 

Play of the Game:

Have to give Tulo some love in this one. Though the Blue Jays held a 2-1 lead when he deposited his three-run home run into the left field stands, it was the big blow

Game Ball:

Stroman gets the game ball for his start today. The fiery right-hander’s final line of 8IP, 3H, ER, 2BB with a career high 9K were one heck of a way to celebrate his 25th birthday.

Turning Point:

For what seems like the only time this season the Blue Jays got that one hit which blew a game open. Tulowitzki’s three-run homer in the ninth was definitely the turning point in this one. Breathing room is a wonderful thing. 

News & Notes:

From SportsNet’s Ben Nicholson Smith comes some excellent information about LH reliever Aaron Loup. Loup who has been out since march with a forearm flexor strain is eyeing steps to possibly bring him back to the big club this month. Check the story out, here.

Next Game:

The Blue Jays head back home to welcome the American League West leading Texas Rangers for a four games series. This is the first time the Rangers will return to Rogers Centre since the epic Game 5 of 2015’s ALDS. If you want on of the 15,000 commemorative T-shirts they will be giving away on Thursday, May 5th, get there early.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III- UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

 

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W Black

Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.