The Toronto Blue Jays continued their four game series vs the Rays in Dunedin, looking to snap a four game losing streak.
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LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR) vs RHP Michael Wacha (TB)
Coming in to the game on a four game losing streak, Jays were looking to Ryu to be the stopper for them. On paper he was the right man for the job. Ryu is the undisputed ace of the Jays staff with a 2.51 era in 8 games.
Wacha was activated from the IL to start this game. The red hot Rays were winners of nine straight games coming in to this game. Wacha was looking to keep the ball rolling for the visiting team.
Top 1 – Ryu surrendered a double to the first batter of the game Randy Arozarena. Yandy Diaz hit a ground ball to Espinal at third who threw high to first, but Guerrero got his foot down on the bag just ahead of Diaz for the out. Austin Meadows struck out swinging. Manuel Margot hit an RBI Single, 1-0 Rays. Margot was then caught stealing to limit the damage to one run.
Bottom 1 – Marcus Semien hit a ball which CF Brett Phillips made a very good play on to catch. Bo Bichette grounded out. Vlad Guerrero hit a ball to left centre that Phillips made another running catch on.
Top 2 – Ryu struck out Mike Brosseau. In an all Korean match up, Ji-Man Choi grounded out to 2B. Francisco Mejia hit a two out single between Bichette at SS and Espinal at 3B. Taylor Walls flew out to RF.
Bottom 2 – Lourdes Gurriel jr continued his hot hitting of late with a two out single but he was stranded when Espinal struck out.
Ryu had a quick 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd.
Bottom 3. LHP Josh Fleming in to pitch, relieving Wacha. Semien hit a two out single to centre. Bichette grounded out and the Jays failed to score.
Top 4 – Meadows struck out. Margot grounded out. Brosseau hit a two out single to LF. Choi doubled. Davis threw to Bichette who completed the relay to Jansen for the out at home. Still 1-0 Rays.
Bottom 4 – Hernandez came up with one out and tied the game with a solo HR. 1-1. Grichuk followed with a single. Gurriel flew out. Espinal walked on a 3-2 count. Jansen flew out to CF to strand the runners.
Top 5 – Rays re-took the lead on a solo HR to left. 2-1 Rays. Ryu retired the next three hitters.
Bottom 5 – Bichette and Guerrero hit back to back singles with two outs. Hernandez once again tied the game with an RBI single, driving in Bichette. 2-2. Grichuk chased an outside pitch to strike out and strand the two runners.
Top 6 – with two out, Margot got an infield hit to 3B. Espinal charged with a throwing error, allowing Margot to advance to second. Brosseau walked, runners on 1st and 2nd. Choi struck out to end the inning and preserve the tie.
Jays went quietly in the bottom of the 6th.
Top 7 – Mejia grounded out on a strong play by Bichette and Guerrero on both ends. Walls hit a one out single to RF. Phillips bunted Walls over to 2nd, two out. That spelled the end of the day for Ryu after 107 pitches.
RHP Rafael Dolis in to relieve him. Arozarena lined out to Guerrero on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.
Jays went quietly in the bottom of the 7th.
Top 8 – Meadows drew a one out walk. Margot flew out to Grichuk in RF who initially broke back, then had to sprint and dive to make the catch. Brosseau struck out swinging to strand the base runner.
Bottom 8 – That sound you hear was a collective gasp by Jays fans everywhere. Guerrero hit a ground ball, then slipped and fell in the batter’s box. He appeared to be ok though.
Hernandez followed with a one out single. Grichuk untied the game with a two run HR to CF. 4-2 Jays.
Top 9 – RHP Tyler Chatwood, who had been one of the Jays best relief pitchers for the Jays, in to relieve Dolis. He walked Choi to lead off the inning. Left hand hitting Brandon Lowe pitch hit for Mejia and hit a single down the 3rd base line. Walls worked the count full, then hit a sharp ground ball. Guerrero made a good play to field the ball, spin and throw to 2nd for the force out. Runners on the corners, one out.
Phillips hit an RBI single. 4-3 Jays. Arozarena flew out to RF, two out. Diaz took four straight balls from Chatwood to load the bases with two out. Manager Charlie Montoyo came in to take the ball from a none too pleased looking Chatwood.
LHP Travis Bergen in to get the final out. Meadows took two straight balls, then a strike. Then swung and missed. Then ducked back from a pitch high and inside, full count…..
Meadows took ball four on a pitch clearly outside. Tie game, 4-4.
Margot up next for the Rays, takes another bases loaded walk to give the Rays back the lead 5-4. Brosseau with another walk. 6-4 Rays. Choi flew out to LF to finally end the inning. One out away from victory, the Jays were forced to try to catch up. Again.
Bottom 9. RHP JP Feyereisen in to pitch. Rowdy Tellez pinch hit for Jansen and flew out to deep LF. Davis struck out looking. Semien hit a two out single, bringing the tying run to the plate.
Bichette struck out swinging to end the game.
Final Tampa Bay 6, Toronto 4
It’s heartbreaking for Jays fans to watch their talented team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. There will be better days from them but for now this one stings.
Up next – The Blue Jays close out their series vs the Rays as well as their home games in Dunedin, looking to avoid a series sweep. Monday May 24th. First pitch scheduled for 1:07 pm.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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