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Jays win a close one

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jay 6 Rays 4

We got a pretty reasonable start from Tanner Roark. 5 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts. All the runs against came on home runs. Yoshi Tsutsugo had a solo homer in the second and Willy Adames hit a two-run homer in the fourth.

He was helped out by a great relay play in the second inning. With Joey Wendle on first, Willy Adames doubled into the left field corner. Lourdes Gurriel made a nice throw to Santiago Espinal who made a nice throw to the plate (not quite a strike, a tiny bit high) in plenty of time to get Wendle.

The next play was a close one too, Keven Kiermaier bounced on to Vladimir Guerrero, who tossed to Roark at first. It was called safe on the field, but the replay got the call right.

Cavan Biggio also made a great diving stop and throw in the fourth. His throw, from his knees was a little short but Vlad made a nice scoop.

We got nice work from our pen:

  • Thomas Hatch pitched 2 scoreless, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.
  • Rafael Dolis had troubles in the eighth. A single and a walk started the inning. He got a ground ball, and Vlad went to second for an out, but Espinal throw well wide of Dolis at first base, trying for a double play that wasn’t there. The runner from second scored on the error. But Dolis got Adames to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, leaving us still up by 1.
  • Jordan Romano got the ninth. He gave up a leadoff infield single. He almost got a double play right after, but ended up with just a force on a high hop ground ball. A walk put the tying run on base. A strikeout to Brandon Lowe, who seems to have been up 10 times a game in this series, made me feel a bit better. Yandy Diaz ground one between first and second, Vlad made the play on it (he was closer to second than first) and made a perfect throw to a running Romano to just get Diaz for the final out.

That was way too tense.

Offensively, we had troubles with Blake Snell. We got a run off him in the third. Biggio singled and score on a Guerrero hard line drive double. And a Gurriel homer ended Snell’s day in the sixth.

It looked like we would get to him in the first inning. Biggio had a 7-pitch strikeout, then Grichuk doubled on the 6th pitch he saw. Vlad took a 6-walk. But Loures struck out on 3 pitches and Hernandez ground out on 6 pitches. A 28 pitch inning, but no runs.

We finally got the lead in the seventh. Facing reliever Edgar Garcia, Danny Jansen took a 7-pitch walk. Danny’s had a tough season, that might have been his best at bat so far, but Joe Panik ground into a double play. Espinal walked. Biggio reached on catcher interference (second catcher interference with him at the plate today). And Randal Grichuk homered.

We got an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Espinal reached on error and Cavan doubled to the right field corner.

We had 7 hits and 4 walks on the day. Biggio and Grichuk each had 2 hits. The bottom 4 (Shaw, Jansen, Panik and Espinal) went 0 for 14 with 2 walks. We need better.

Jays of the Day: Grichuk (.467 WPA), Hatch (.132), Vlad (.114) and Biggio (.114, plus the big defensive play).

Suckage: Panik (-.203) and Roark had the number too (.114)

Tomorrow we face the Red Sox, in our home away from home. Could we please win a couple of blowouts?

We had 593 comments in the thread. I led us to a very nervous victory.