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Buchholz shines in debut, Jays rally late to stifle Rays

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
Luke Maile tags out Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Austin Meadows at third base during the sixth inning at Rogers Centre
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays: 3, Rays: 1

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Blue Jays were no hit until the 6th inning, then rallied late off the relievers. ‘Tis the Blue Jays way. However, I don’t think many of us were expecting a lineup that had Alen Hanson playing in right field to defeat the Rays in a game started by both Blake Snell and a pitcher who gave up 4 homers in a AAA start a few days ago, so we will take it.

The Jays, facing Cy Young winner Blake Snell, predictably didn’t have a base runner until the 4th inning when Justin Smoak took a one-out walk. Teoscar Hernandez hit a grounder to second base, and it was initially ruled an inning ending double play, but Montoyo challenged the very close play (!) and it was overturned. However, Grichuk struck out to end the inning.

Rowdy Tellez almost hit a homer at the bottom of the 5th, but it was a few feet to the wrong side of the foul pole.

Former Tampa Bay Ray Luke Maile broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single to left field, but Galvis hit into a double play to end the inning.

The Jays pulled ahead in the 7th after Snell was curiously taken out of the game after only 80 pitches. Smoak singled off new reliever Chaz Roe, then one out later, Grichuk doubled him to 3rd. Lourdes Gurriel Jr drove them both home with a double of his own, giving the Jays the lead for the first time this series.

The Jays tacked on to their lead again in the 8th. Jalen Beeks walked Maile with one-out, stuck out Galvis, then walked Smoak to put two on. Teoscar Hernandez, who was due to be awarded with a Suckage point before that, singled home Maile.

Clay Buchholz had a very strong Blue Jays debut: 6 innings, 6 hits (5 of them singles) and only one run and two strikeouts. A lot of baseballs stayed on the ground, and he didn’t walk any batters. He gave up back-to-back one out singles in the 1st, but was helped out when Luke Maile caught Ji-Man Choi stealing 2nd base.

The Rays scored the first run of the ball game in the 6th. Willy Adames doubled with one out, then Austin Meadows hit a ball to the left side of the infield against the shift scoring Adames, but Teoscar overran the ball on the ground and Meadows advanced to 2nd. Meadows moved to 3rd on a Tommy Pham fly out, and tried to come home on a ground ball to 1st off the bat of Choi, but Tellez threw home to Maile and Maile chased Meadows back to 3rd, literally diving on top of him to get the out.

Thomas Pannone came into the game in the 7th even though Buchholz hadn’t hit his 80 pitches, likely due to 2 of the 3 hitters coming up being lefties. Avisail Garcia hit a one-out routine ground ball to Gurriel Jr, who pulled Tellez off the bag with a throw too far down the first baseline. Maile was there to back Tellez up, but he also made a bad throw to Galvis on 2nd, and Garcia ended up at 3rd base. Both Gurriel and Maile were charged with errors, giving the Jays more errors than they had hits at that point. However, Teoscar Hernandez threw a Kevin Kiermaier fly ball perfectly to Luke Maile, and Maile was able to tag Garcia out at home.

Joe Biagini pitched the 8th. Mike Zunino hit a ball to right field which (not a right fielder) Alen Hanson dove for and did not catch. He lost his helmet and had to chase the ball, turning Zunino’s single into a lead-off triple. He absolutely should have conceded the single, and one can also argue Brito should have been there in defensively once the Jays took the lead (which did end up happening in the 9th). Biagini struck out Adames, intentional walked Meadows, and then struck out Pham. Montoyo brought in Mayza to face the lefty in Ji-Man Choi, and ended up striking out Daniel Robertson who pinch hit for him.

Ken Giles started a new save streak when he closed out the game giving up only a single.

Jays of the Day: Gurriel (+.210 WPA), Buchholz (.177), Grichuk (.131), Mayza (.122) and Smoak (.102)

Suckage: Galvis (-.159). All 3 players who made an error redeemed themselves later.

We had 621 comments in the GameThread. DangYouToHeck led the way.

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1 DangYouToHeck 90
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Tomorrow will now be a rubber match between Charlie Morton and Marcus Stroman at 1:07 ET.