Toronto Blue Jays unable to win series, as they lose 8-4 to Rays
Pinch-hitter Guillermo Heredia recorded a five-run eighth inning with a fantastic two-run homer as the Tampa Bay took full advantage of sloppy defence from the Blue Jays en route to an 8-4 win.
Heredia’s homer, off of Tim Mayza gave the East-leading Rays the 8-2 lead.
Kevin Kiermaier started the flurry of offensive in the bat-around eighth with a double of runs. This was followed by pinch-hitter Mike Zunino bringing home two more with a single.
The Rays had scored three un-earned runs during the third innings and fourth innings following two Blue Jay mistakes.
Furthermore, Billy McKinney struck a two-run homer during the ninth inning to give the Blue Jays (5-11) late hope. Also, Freddy Galvis homered and drove two late runs.
There was a starting place for Charlie Morton for the Rays. He allowed a run and four hits over 4 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, reliever Adam Kolarek (1-0) ensured the win.
However, Marcus Stroman (0-3) lasted for just four innings. He allowed three hits and three runs with three walks and five strikeouts. All of which were unearned.
The Blue Jays’ Thomas Pannone pitched three consistent innings during relief. This included an immaculate fifth when he struck out all three batters from nine pitches.
However, the damage was done early for the Blue Jays, as their early mistakes cost them the result.
The Rays tied the game at 1-1 following Lourdes Gurriel Jr. bouncing a throw to the first on the would-be final out of the third. Following this, Stroman walked the next batter, and Brandon Lowe followed this up with an RBI single.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Charlie Montoyo said: “It’s a young kid struggling mentally with his throwing right now.
We’ve got to be careful with that. The future is bright with Gurriel, so we don’t want to make it even worse … that’s why we took him out.”
Meanwhile, Stroman threw 15 extra pitches. Before he would escape the inning, he was thus bringing his total to 69 through three. Gurriel was replaced in the field by Alen Hanson at the start of the fourth.
Tampa Bay attacked again in the next inning with two runs following an error by Stroman. Austin Meadows drove in Kiermaier to hand Tampa the lead. While Yandy Diaz made it 3-1 with an RBI single.
Galvis cut into the lead during the seventh inning when he launched a Ryne Stanek pitch over the centre-field wall.
Galvis drove in the game’s opening run during the first inning. He brought lead-off hitter Billy McKinney home from second with a single from Morton.
Randal Grichuk made a highlight-reel play in centre in the second. With a runner on second and two out, Grichuk robbed Willy Adames of an RBI and extra bases, sprinting to track down the hard-hit liner and leaping for the catch at the wall. Stroman threw his hands in the air when the play was made and emphatically high-fived his centre-fielder as they both jogged into the dugout.