Thank you so much Russell Martin. After the Rays tied the game, in the top of the 8th, Russell led off the bottom of the inning with a home run. It was Martin’s first home run of the month, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
I thought we gave away an easy win in the top of the inning, glad to see I was wrong.
That’s the best start we’ve had from Francisco Liriano since April. He got us 7 innings, his longest start of the season. He allowed 5 hit, 3 runs, 2 earned, 2 walks with 9 strikeouts.
He had a bit of trouble in the third inning. A 1-out error by Ryan Goins was followed by a single and triple, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.
And there was more trouble in the fourth, when he loaded the bases with walks on either side of a single, loading the bases before getting his first out. But he worked his way out of it allowing just 1 run.
In both innings he was helped out by Josh Donaldson throwing a runner out at the plate. He made a very good play, in the third, going to his left to get a grounder, but still straightening up and throwing home just in time. A great tag by Russell Martin helped out.
Outside of those 2 innings, he only allowed one base runner.
On offense....it was yet another game in which we should have scored more.
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi had a tough time finding the strike zone in the first inning, he threw 26 pitches but we let him off the hook. And he threw a bunch of pitches again in the second but we still couldn’t score.
We scored a run in the third. Kevin Pillar walked (!), stole second and went to third on Derek Norris’ throwing error. After Bautista walked, Pillar scored on Kendrys Morales’ ground out. Kendrys had to hustle down the line to beat out the double play.
We had the big inning in the fifth, scoring 4. Goins led off with a single. Pillar reached on a error by Rays’ 2B, Taylor Featherston. Goins was running on the full count pitch and Featherston seemed to be distracted just enough. Jose Bautista singled Goins home. Then Morales hit a deep homer to right. 468 feet.
We scored another in the 6th. Martin singled. Dwight Smith followed with a popup that was lost in the sky. Nice to see the Rays fielders have trouble with Rogers Centre, as we’ve had enough trouble at Tropicana. Goins bunted them to second and third.
Martin scored on a weird play. On a full count, Pillar swung at a low and inside pitch. It got past the catcher and Martin came into score. Pillar was slow going to first, maybe he didn’t think he swung, or maybe he forgot he could run to first on strike 3.
It was a strange game. Hard hit ball caught. Soft contact went for hits. We had errors, steals (Pillar and Smith), bunts (Goins had 2 sac bunts, for those of you who like that sort of thing, he did a good job on both), outs at the plate and good and bad defense.
We had 10 hits and 4 walks. Dwight Smith had 3 singles. Bautista, Morales and Martin had 2 each. Donaldson and Pillar were hitless, but Josh had 2 walks and Kevin had a walk and reached on error. Justin Smoak and Troy Tulowitzki each went 0 for 4.
Joe Smith had a tough 8th inning. He gave up 3 hits, including a home run, and a walk to let the Rays tie the game up. He’s had a couple of bad outings of late.
3 earned in an inning, and he gets the win. He’s been so good that we can forgive him a bad outing, but Liriano would have liked the win.
Roberto Osuna pitched a nice, drama free, ninth, getting his 17th save.
Jays of the Day? Well, FanGraphs has quit, but lets give JoDs to Liriano, Martin, Morales and Bautista. Let’s give one to Dwight Smith too, 3 hits, though one was a pop up and one was an infield hit he just beat out.
Suckage: Joe Smith.
We had 490 comments in a bit of a slow GameThread. I led us to victory. Yay me.
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