That was ugly. I hope we all bet the over.
Right-hander Matt Andriese took the mound for the Rays, and started off well by retiring the first two hitters he faced. After surrendering a two-out single to Jose Bautista, Kendrys Morales crushed a ground-rule double over the short wall in left. Troy Tulowitzki, who came into tonight's game without a hit, lined a two-run double down the right field line to complete the two-out rally. Blue Jays 2- Rays 0.
Liriano started his evening by walking the leadoff man, and then watched his lead evaporate as Evan Longoria belted a no-doubter into the left-field bleachers. He responded by walking both Rickie Weeks Jr. and Derek Norris, then allowing them to advance on a wild pitch. With a 3-2 count, Brad Miller took advantage of a fastball down the middle by lining a 2-run double into left. Rays 4, Blue Jays 2.
The scoring did not stop there, as Liriano gave up yet another walk, before surrendering Daniel Robertson's first career hit. His night was over with just one out in the bottom of the first, and Domonic Leone entered in an attempt to get the Jays out of an early jam. A weak groundout cashed in the Rays fifth run, but Leone managed to get out of the inning courtesy of a Steven Souza Jr. fly out. Rays 5, Blue Jays 2 after one.
The Rays continued to add to their lead in the second, as yet another walk came around to score on a sacrifice fly. Rickie Weeks Jr. hit a catwalk for a ground-rule double in the process, and we were left admiring the masterpiece that is Tropicana Field. Rays 6, Blue Jays 2 after two.
After both teams went down easily in the third, Troy Tulowitzki led off the 4th with an opposite field solo shot just over the wall in left. Ezequiel Carrera and Kevin Pillar tried to keep the rally going with a pair of singles, but Travis would strand them on an inning-ending groundout. Rays 6, Blue Jays 3.
Ryan Tepera took over for Leone to start the 4th, and a pair of scoreless innings kept the Blue Jays in the game for the time being. In fact, Josh Donaldson started the 5th with a double, and scored when Souza Jr. dropped a routine sacrifice fly. Andriese's night was finished, and Justin Smoak immediately made them pay by lining a double off reliever Jumbo Diaz. Rays 6, Blue Jays 5 after five.
The Jays comeback continued, as Austin Pruitt took the mound to start the bottom of the 6th, and was greeted by a single off the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. A pair of one-out walks loaded the bases for Jose Bautista, but he would go down swinging for the second out of the inning. Left-hander Xavier Cedeno entered to face Morales, but back-to-back full-count walks gift-wrapped the Blue Jays a 7-5 lead. With the bases still loaded, Smoak lined out right at the shortstop to end the inning.
This lead was short-lived, as Tepera was pulled after giving up a leadoff single to start the bottom of the sixth, and J.P. Howell proceeded to pitch horribly. The southpaw gave up a double, walk, another double, and then another walk, meaning he was lifted from the game without recording an out. Down two, Joe Smith entered with the bases loaded, and gave up a bloop single around three strikeouts. Rays 9, Blue Jays 7 after six.
After the teams exchanged zeros in the 7th, Josh Donaldson led off the eighth with a solo shot just over the wall in centre. The Jays were within one, but the middle of the order went down easily to end the inning. To make matters worse, Aaron Loup surrendered a pair of weakly hit singles in the 8th, and the Rays generated an insurance run thanks to Derek Norris' RBI single into right. A Smoak strikeout, and groundouts from Carrera and Salatalamacchia, ended Toronto's chances in the 9th. Final Score: Rays 10, Blue Jays 8.
Jays of the Day go to Tulowitzki (.333), Donaldson (.267), Morales (.107), and we'll give one to Smith (0.55) for getting out of a big jam. Bautista (-.133) and Carrera (-.144) posted the low mark, but Liriano (-.466) and Howell (-.434) were especially bad.
Aaron Sanchez goes up against Chris Archer starting at 6:10 PM tomorrow, in game three of a four game set.