It wasn’t a very fun game until it was an incredibly fun game. Jays didn’t seem to beat Rays, and the night was exemplary in that respect. The crime had only eight men all night. Fortunately, Bo is in a position now where he can carry the entire team on his back, and Rays made him angry tonight. I’m pretty sure Javy Guerra didn’t mean to hit him on the edge of the helmet. This was the sixth inning in one match and represented Bo going forward. As you approach 99, I imagine that intent matters only but a lot. Poe is back in eighth place and retaliated, hitting Homer going forward twice which would end up winning.
The shooters held out more than their end of the bargain, allowing only nine riders to themselves and only one getting a run. Aside from Danny Janssen’s untimely mistake, the defense also turned up in a big way.
Winning this series seems almost mandatory if Jays wants a shot into the best place in the wildcard, and getting a win with a man who was one of the more shaken starters is a great start to that goal. With their win tonight, they match Seattle’s 79-61 record, jumping half a game before the Rays, one into the winning column. The Yankees, like the Mariners off tonight, are now 5.5 games away.
We got good Jose Perios tonight. He gave up two rounds, one got, over six and a third, gave up six hits, walked and hit a hit while he was hitting four. The range gained came in a second. David Peralta, Manuel Margo and Jonathan Aranda stick together back-to-back, and none of them were seriously hurt. The unearned run came in the sixth. Randy Arrosarina has hit the ball one time and stole second place on the fourth ball to David Peralta. It was frontier court and Danny Jansen couldn’t wait for the call, but he mailed his throw to second, allowing Arosarina to go third. Came to score in the player selection Manuel Margo.
It was a bad night in the Jays lineup. Minor League call-up Cooper Cresswell was perfect through three rounds, winning four of his nine hitters. They finally reached him on the fourth. George Springer served as an introductory walk, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Followed by a no hitter break with one floor ball across the left side. Bo Bichete arranged a center single to get Springer into it. Criswell got more of a hit, turning up Alejandro Kirk, before being pulled for JT Chargois, who pushed Teoscar Hernandez to the floor in a double play to finish the inning. Chargeois will remain in the game to do a clean fifth inning.
There was some drama at the bottom of the sixth. Javy Guerra gave up his resonance weakness to Guerrero, then lost control of a fast 99-mph ball that bounced off the edge of Bichette’s helmet. Bo was a little upset but was unhurt, and was able to stay in the game. After Kirk stalled on the ground to finish the inning, Berrios hit Francisco Mejia in the glute to open the seventh. It is unclear if this was intended. It would have been a dumb thing, but then again, the timing was suspicious, and while I’m sure Guerra wasn’t trying to move on, it was a pretty scary moment when Bo fell and Jays was furious. Anyway, Berrios got another hit, a foul fly from Taylor Walls, and it was lifted for Yimi Garcia. Yande Diaz quickly started double play to finish the inning.
Colin Butch worked at the bottom of the seventh for Tampa Bay, protecting a 2-1 lead. He allowed one blob for Matt Chapman but the Guys couldn’t do anything to get him back.
Garcia remained in eighth place. After getting two routine ground strikes, he hit Arozarena in the hand. That certainly wasn’t intended, it was a 0-2 pitch that was a bit leaky and in, but it was the end of Garcia’s night anyway as John Schneider called on Tim Meeza to play the easy Peralta. Kevin Cash responded by backing off at Wander Franco, who was making his way back into the squad after a long stint in IL. An easy ball cut to Santiago Espinal in second to take out third.
At the bottom of the half, Reyes called up setup man Jason Adam and made six defensive substitutions, trying to keep their lead in the single round. Rimmel Tapia lined up a second and stole a second, but Springer stopped playing and punched Vlad, putting everything on Bichette’s shoulders. Bo looked at the Rays’ equal defense and simply decided to hit it right above them, and Homer fired a run on Arozarena’s jump to put Toronto ahead 3-2.
With the lead secured, Jordan Romano came in to close it. Manuel Margot advanced with a fly reel to the track in the middle, but defensive sub Jackie Bradley Jr. made a massive hold as he bounced off the wall to turn what looked like sure extra bases out. Romano raised his hat to his quarterback and took it from there, hitting Isaac Paredes (a hit for Aranda) and making Mejia overtaken at the start.
Jays today: The number was Romano (), Pechet (0.728), and Tapia (0.123). Piraeus didn’t, but I gave him a nod anyway because going forward wasn’t his fault, and he kept a foul sleeping in him just enough for the importance of Poe’s heroics. Jackie Bradley Jr. He doesn’t have WPA at all because he never came to the board, but that catch also deserves a hat tip.
Not much: Springer (-0.117), Kirk (-0.170), and Hernandez (-0.169)
We have a double head coming tomorrow. Game one will feature Alec Manoah (14-7, 2.42) against Jeffrey Springs (7-4, 2.54), with the first court set at 1:07 p.m. ET. The second match will follow at 7:07 p.m. Jays will likely start Mitch White, although this is unconfirmed. Rays device launch has not yet been announced.