Toronto shut out the Rays today, winning the three game series and moving even with Tampa Bay in the standings. The one positive thing you can say about today's game is that it didn't take very long.
Chris Archer rebounded nicely from his previous start where he allowed a career high nine runs. The All-Star worked seven solid innings, striking out six, walking one, and allowing two runs. At one point he retired eleven in a row, but ran into a spot of trouble in the fifth inning. After striking out Dionar Navarro, Archer allowed a single to Justin Smoak and then threw a 0-1 slider to Chris Colabello that caught too much of the plate. Like most major league hitters who see a slider catching too much of the plate, Colabello hit it over the wall in left field, giving Toronto the only lead they would need. Archer ended up taking the loss, but you can't blame him for the outcome when his offense gives him no support.
Last time Marco Estrada faced the Rays he was a Joey Butler single with two outs and two strikes in the ninth away from a no-hitter. This time he allowed three hits in eight innings without walking a soul. He was three times as bad! Maybe the next time the Rays face him they'll get six hits? The only real threat he faced came in the third inning when Tim Beckham leadoff with a double to left and Kevin Kiermaier put down a sac bunt to move him to third. Rene Rivera followed with a fly ball out to shallow left field, but too shallow to send Beckham. With John Jaso now batting, Navarro picked Beckham off to end the inning. Not that getting one run against the Blue Jays is going to achieve much, but ending an inning with a pickoff at third base should never happen. Estrada proceeded to retire the next fifteen men he faced before a Logan Forsythe in the eighth.
The Rays now travel to Philadelphia to face the awful Phillies. They're going to miss facing 2008 World Series nemesis Cole Hamels, so hopefully the bats can get something going against a subpar Philly rotation.
-Brandon Gomes came in to relieve Archer and allowed a two run homer to Jose Bautista in a 10 pitch at bat. That moves Gomes' ERA up to 4.06. He's allowed five home runs, 30 hits and 10 walks in 31 innings. He's not good.
-Pitching prospect Blake Snell was promoted to Triple-A Durham before the game. Since he started the season in A ball, that's a big deal and something to be excited for when looking at next season.