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Rays 4, Blue Jays 3: Walk-Off Victory!

Archer looked to build on his solid outing against Baltimore and the Rays looked to tie the series at 1

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Innings 1-3: Chris Archer struggles with his command. Rays down 2-1.

Through the first three innings Archer struggled with his fastball command and constantly fell behind hitters allowing only one hit while walking four and striking out one. Two walks to Josh Donaldson is not the end of the world, but makes life tough going through the middle of the lineup. Back to back walks to Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins really caused his pitch count to elevate and have more stressful innings.

In the third inning with one out Archer walked Donaldson. This time the Blue Jays made Archer pay for the free pass as Archer hung a full count change up that Jose Bautista that he managed to keep fair and deposit into 162 Landing.

In the bottom of the third the Rays put up a threat as Kevin Kiermaier worked a walk with one out. After a strikeout by Curt Casali, Kiermaier stole second base (third of the season) and Logan Forsythe singled on a line drive up the middle to score the Rays first run of the game. With Forsythe on second Guyer hit a rocket right at Troy Tulowitzki to end the threat.

Innings 4-6: Chris Archer settles down. Game tied 2-2.

Archer faced the minimum and set down the nine hitters on three strikeouts (Goins, Thole, and Saunders) and induced two infield flies.

Tim Beckham added two fine defensive plays on a liner by Bautista and a deep groundball that he was able to just get Pillar out.

On the first pitch in the bottom of the sixth Evan Longoria hit a first row opposite field line drive home run on a low and away fastball that it appeared he was hunting. The pitch was a good pitch, but Longoria put a good swing on it and tied the game at two.

7th Inning: Enny Romero has trouble and Erasmo keeps the Rays in the game. Rays down 3-3.

With one out Romero left a fastball over the plate that was crushed by Kevin Pillar and sent to the Ducky's party deck. After getting the second out, Romero lost the zone and walked Thole and Saunders and brought Donaldson up with two on and two outs.

Erasmo Ramirez came in to face Donaldson and struck him out looking on a 2-2 pitch that was on a fastball on the outside part of the plate.

In the bottom of the seventh the Rays answered as their MVP candidate, Logan Forsythe, crushed a homerun over the dead center field wall. The Rays tied the game at 3.

9th Inning: Xavier Cedeno gets the Rays out of trouble and give the Rays the chance for a walkoff. 4-3 Rays win!

In the top of the ninth with one out Pillar hit a weak bouncer down the right field line for a double off of Erasmo. Cedeno came in and induced a groundball from Goins that enabled Pillar to move to third. Matt Dominguez pinch hit for Josh Thole and on a 3-2 pitch Cedeno struck out Dominguez swinging.

Brad Miller was announced as a pinch hitter for Tim Beckham and the Blue Jays responded with a pitching change as they replaced Jesse Chavez with Brett Cecil. Cecil has been extremely tough on left handed batters in the recent past, but has struggled so far this season.

Brad Miller hit a soft groundball to first, but hustled down the line and beat the pitcher and first baseman to the bag to earn a leadoff single. Kiermaier, who had solid at bats all evening against the left handed pitchers, jumped on 1-2 pitch scorching a liner to right field that hit off the top of the wall putting runners on second and third with no outs.

Curt Casali worked a really nice at bat as Cecil tried to get him to chase pitches and got a 3-1 fastball that he hit into left field for the walk off victory.

Overall Thoughts:

Archer didn't have his best stuff, but allowed two runs on one hit (Bautista home run), four walks, and four strikeouts. After the Bautista homer, Archer settled down and was able to maneuver through the potent Blue Jays lineup for six innings.

Erasmo Ramirez should have earned the win when he struck out Donaldson in the seventh with two on and two outs. If Ramirez allowed a hit the game probably isn't within reach for a Rays comeback and eventual walk-off victory.

Tim Beckham made two really nice plays at shortstop.

Logan Forsythe kept up his Superman impersonation (.341/.426/.610, .442 wOBA, 200 wRC+) with a 3-3 HR, BB, 1 R, and 2 RBI evening.

The hustle by Brad Miller was YUUUUUGE