It was 4-1!
After taking a two-game break to celebrate the division title, the Blue Jays starting lineup proceeded to score 8 runs. Even Troy Tulowitzki returned to get in on the fun.
Toronto quickly jumped out to an early lead in the second, started by back-to-back singles from Chris Colabello and Russell Martin. After Tulowitzki lined out for the first out, a wild pitch courtesy of Erasmo Ramirez put both runners in scoring position. Kevin Pillar's groundout would score Colabello, but Ramirez was able to keep the score at 1-0.
Mark Buehrle hit the Brandon Guyer with his very first pitch, but promptly settled-in to keep the Rays from scoring through the first four innings. Erasmo Ramirez was able to pitch out of danger time-after-time early on, and Toronto's lead remained at 1-0 after four innings.
The Rays offence broke out in a big way in the 5th. Richie Shaffer started the inning with a cheap double, and immediately moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Hopefully everyone remembered to thank the Rays for the free out. Up next, Luke Maile hit an RBI-single to left, tying the game at 1-1. Buehrle responded by hitting Guyer for a second time, before allowing a three-run home run to Mikie Mahtook. As mentioned above, it was 4-1.
Tampa Bay enjoyed its lead for a matter of minutes. Martin and Tulowitzki hit a pair of one-out singles, before Kevin Pillar's line drive double chased Ramirez from the game. Left-hander Enny Romero entered with a 4-2 lead, but two-run triple off of the bat of Ryan Goins greeted him and tied the game at 4-4. The next hitter, Ben Revere, gave the Blue Jays the lead with a sacrifice fly.
The 7th inning was not much kinder to the Rays. Edwin Encarnacion brought his parrot around the bases with a one-out solo shot to straight away centre. Chris Colabello followed with a triple off of the catwalk in left, before Russell Martin cashed him in by crushing his 23rd home run of the season.
Mark Buehrle managed to retire the first two hitters in the bottom of the 7th, but was lifted from the game after hitting Guyer for the THIRD time. What did Brandon Guyer ever do to Mark Buehrle? That leaves the veteran southpaw with 198 innings on the season. It will be interesting to see if he pitches on Sunday in order to reach 200 innings for the 15th consecutive season.
A combination of Mark Lowe, Aaron Sanchez, Brett Cecil, and Roberto Osuna preserved the 8-4 win. After entering the game with two-outs in the ninth, Osuna set a record for most appearances in an MLB season by a pitcher under the age of 21 since 1914.
Jays of the Day: Ryan Goins (.219), Kevin Pillar (.158), Russell Martin (.138), & Ben Revere (.109). Let's give one to Troy Tulowitzki for making his return. He had two hits, with one hitting the top of the wall in right. We'll give one to Mark Buehrle as well, for what could be the last start of his Blue Jays tenure, if not his career. Colabello and Encarnacion each had a two-hit game, but I am well over my JOD quota.
Suckage: Jose Bautista (-.125). Only starter without a hit.
Make it 93 wins for the Blue Jays!