Rays 1 Blue Jays 3
While most of the Jays news today was dominated by the trade deadline, the Jays snuck in a game later, travelling to the House of Horrors in St. Petersburg to face the Rays at the Trop. However a dominant performance by Gausman led them to a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.
By the 6pm deadline, the Jays acquired Whit Merrifeld, Mitch White, Zach Pop, Anthony Bass, Alex De Jesus and a PTBNL for Jordan Groshans, Max Castillo, Samad Taylor, Nick Frasso, and Moise Brito. Hop over to our posts for each trade to praise or complain about the deals!
With the deadline over, the Jays have two months of baseball to focus on winning and it started tonight. Drew Rasmussen (6-3, 3.17 ERA) started for the Rays and after a quick out, Vlad smoked a hurry-up double and advanced to third on a grounder off the pitcher from Kirk before being singled home by Bichette with a single to almost the same place. They’d get Bichette trying to steal second to end the inning.
Kevin Gausman (7-8, 3.30 ERA) took the hill for the Jays. The Rays seemed to be laying off his splitter early, but beyond a walk and HBP pitch in the first, he pushed them out of their zone and began to rack up the strikeouts and bad contact.
In the third, the Jays threatened with a single by Gurriel that he unfortunately tried to stretch before being cut down at second. Vladdy would hit a long single into the outfield to follow. Kirk walked behind him, setting the stage for Bo again. Vladdy had a nifty steal of third and Bo hit what looked like a perfect frozen rope into centre-right but Siri was able to snag it with a sliding catch.
In the fourth, with Chapman on first, the Jays botched a hit and run and he was erased trying to take second.
It would take until the 6th when the number 9 hitter blooped a hit into right field for the Rays to get their first hit. It was quickly erased with a double play started by Bo. Gausman would make a particularly nice play on a swinging bunt to get the final out of the inning.
Gausman went into the 8th with 10 strikeouts. Despite early challenges, he bounced back, making them chase the splitter they’d laid off of in the first and then abandoned their approach after. He’d go into the 9th with 103 pitched and just one hit.
The Jays broke out against Armstrong in the ninth. Hernandez and Tapia got on base for a Jansen bloop to just find the hole in the outfield triangle to add a couple of insurance runs.
Jordon Romano came out, looking for his sixth straight save. Bad Bad Leroy Brown tossed a get it over strike that 9th hitter Taylor Wall immediately took yard. However, Romano locked down the rest of the hitters to give them the win.
Jays of the Day: Very clearly Gausman gets the nod for a great performance on the hill.
Suckage goes to the coaching staff. Too many bad hit and runs and steal attempts.
The Jays play tomorrow with Kukuchi taking the hill against whoever the Rays dig up in the clincher for this short two game series.