Blue Jays 11 - Rays 4
In a very loud and fun Rogers Centre, fans were treated to a wonderful offensive explosion this evening, watching their Jays have one of the best showings at home this season. In total, the Jays scored 11 runs on 16 hits over their 8 innings, scoring a run in all but their first and last attempts.
That means that the Jays’ magic number to clinch a postseason birth is down to 1! If the Mariners lose tonight, the Jays are in. Otherwise we wait until tomorrow.
The Jays scored early and often in this one. After stranding a Vladdy walk in the first, the Jays got their first run in the second inning on Alejandro Kirk’s 8th home run of the season.
Kirk added to the scoring with a 2-run single in the third, after which Kiermaier added the first non-Kirk RBI of the night with a sac fly to make it 4-0 through three innings.
The Jays erupted for 3 more runs in the fourth inning. Brandon Belt led the inning off with his 18th homer of the season. That was followed by a Bichette single and a Biggio single that turned into a little league home run thanks to a poor play in CF by Manuel Margot, his second error of the game.
Matt Chapman added a solo home run to open the fifth inning, running the score to 8-0.
The Rays finally got on the board in the top of the 6th inning, knocking Kikuchi out of the game with a couple doubles and a home run. Chad Green allowed 3 of the next 4 runners to reach, allowing the Rays to get back into the game.
But the Jays promptly answered back in the bottom half of the sixth, getting a leadoff double by Guerrero to start things off. After an error allowed Bichette to reach, Biggio added another 2-run hit to get the Jays to double digits.
The Jays scored their final run of the night in the bottom of the seventh thanks to back-to-back doubles by Guerrero and Bichette.
The combination of Yimi García and Jay Jackson wrapped up the game with 3 perfect innings, striking out 4 along the way.
Kikuchi’s line was 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a pair of walks, striking out 4. He was fantastic through his first 5 innings, before running into the trouble in the sixth. His final line for the season is an 11-6 record with a 3.86 ERA.
On offense, the Jays got multi-hit efforts from Guerrero (3), Bichette (4), Biggio (2), Kirk (2), Kiermaier (2) and Chapman (2). Poor Varsho was the lone starter to not reach base, going 0-5 with a trio of strikeouts. But somebody had to make the outs so the game could end in under 3 hours.
Jays of the Day: Just Kikuchi (.162) and Kirk (.204) had the numbers. Bichette with his 4 hits, Vladdy with his 2 doubles and Biggio with run scoring hits can all have their Nepo Baby JotD awards too.
Suckage Jays: None. Varsho with his 0-5 was the low mark at -.067.
The Jays will play again tomorrow afternoon at 3:07 ET, either looking to clinch their postseason birth or playing with a hangover. The Mariners’ game is about to start though, so go give that a watch.