In a home and away game where at times it seemed like the winning streak was dead, the Rays rose from the mat and clinched a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays. The victory was Tampa Bay’s tenth in a row, the second longest winning streak in team history. With this victory and the loss of the Red Sox, the Rays enter a tie for first place in the AL East.
Fresh out of IL, Michael Wacha got the opener, with Josh Fleming expected to win the heats en bloc. They were supported by this range.
The Blue Jays sent Hyun-jin Ryu.
The Rays hit first at the top of the first. Randy Arozarena started off with a brace on the left wall of the field. Ryu then took out the next two without advancement on Randy’s basics, and it looked like the Blue Jays left ace could pull it off. But Manuel Margot lined up a 0-1 curve just above a bouncing Bichette, scoring Randy.
Michael Wacha sailed through a first clean bottom, thanks in large part to some outstanding pieces from Brett Phillips.
In the Rays halfway through the second, they only managed a MejÃa single before going down. In the Jays’ halftime there were two more Phillips catches before Gurriel split Wacha’s unsuccessful offer with a left single. Wacha finished the round by stoking Espinal.
The Rays went in order at the top of the third.
Josh Fleming took over late in the third and revolved around a two-out Semien single on his way to a scoreless frame.
In the fourth, the Rays fell victim to an aggressive sendoff that didn’t work out. It started when Brosseau fielded a two-out single to the left. Choi followed by pushing one off the left wall, but a perfect carom play from Davis and a perfect throw from Bichette kept Brossseau at home.
Hey, Willy did it better.
At the end of the fourth with a withdrawal, Teoscar Hernandez chased one to the left. 1-1 tie.
A single from Grichuk and a walk from Espinal put in two with two outs. Fleming got away with another nice catch from Phillips.
The Rays regained the lead early in the fifth when MejÃa threw a 0-2 fastball to the left.
At the end of the fifth, the Jays organized a rally with two outings. Singles from Bichette, Guerrero and Hernandez equalized the match. 2-2. Fleming rebounded by hitting Grichuk to end the rally.
With two outings in the top of the sixth, Margot hit a single on the pitch and rose to second when Espinal’s throw passed Guerrero. Brosseau then reached on a five-length walk, but Choi couldn’t cash that chance when he was called out on strikes on a call to the limit.
In the middle of the sixth, Cash came out to speak to the refs. He was holding the roster card and pointing to the survey pen. He started again in the middle of the seventh. More on that later once it makes sense!
In the top of the seventh, Walls threw (68 mph!) A single right. Phillips then bunted for a hit, but patted him towards the mound and was pulled out. The walls have moved to the second row of the room.
Rafael Dolis took over from Ryu to take on Arozarena. Randy took the first pitch and sliced ââto the right, but straight to Guerrero for the out.
Meanwhile, Fleming seemed to have found his stride, sitting to the side in order in the sixth and seventh.
Meadows drew an exit in the eighth. After Margot smoothly lined up to the right, Cash made the decision to stay with Brosseau instead of punching Lowe or Wendle. Bross struck while swinging to end the threat.
It was a bit of a surprise to see Fleming come back for the eighth. Especially after Hernandez hit a single on the pitch and Grichuk returned to center. 4-2 Jays.
But there was no stopping in those shelves, as they hooked a four dot on the Jays pen. Montoyo gave Chatwood the ball for the ninth, and he quickly walked Choi (that would be a theme). Lowe then hit for MejÃ¬a and made a single left on the first pitch. The Walls called and worked a 3-2 count before ending in a forced 3-6 takedown. Phillips was next, and he led a 1-0 lead down center for a single, scoring Choi. The walls stopped in the second.
A Randy line to the right and a Diaz march loaded the bases for two outings.
Montoyo called one of his lefties, Travis Bergen, to take on Meadows and get out of this situation. Although Cash had Zunino on the bench, he stayed with the left in the left game.
The dancing walls in third place clearly took the lead from Bergen, and Meadows worked an incredible batting to win a nine-step walk to force into the tied race.
Things got worse and worse for Bergen until things completely fell apart. A five-length walk to Margot and a four-length walk to Brosseau gave the Rays the lead and an insurance run at 6-4.
Eventually, Choi flew to the left to end the round with mercy.
JP Fire – uh, fryer – uh – JPF got a call to shut it down for the Rays. He revolved around a single from Semien to hit the side.
The rays win!
The boys have a match day tomorrow to try and complete this four game sweep. The playing time is at 1:07 p.m. Ryan Yarbrough takes the start.