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Rays 4, Blue Jay 1: Pitching dominates on bullpen day

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Buffalo roams while a host of pitchers shut down the Jays

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays locked up a series win against Toronto Blue Jays with a 4-1 victory on bullpen day, winning their third of the last four.

On a night when they put runners on base almost every inning but were often frustrated, the Rays finally broke through in the third. After an earlier walk by Rob Refsnyder, Wilson Ramos came to plate with two outs, and absolutely unloaded on a Jaime Garcia change up to straight away centerfield.

Look at the Buffalo ‘mirin that one.

2-0 Rays!

The Rays tacked on a couple insurance runs in the sixth. C.J. Cron led off with a walk, then moved up to third on a Willy Adames double that was laced to left. That spelled the end of the night for Garcia, who gave up four hits, struck out four and walked four in his five-plus innings of work.

Joey Wendle pinch hit for Christian Arroyo against new pitcher Joe Biagini. After working a full count, he grounded a hard single past Travis at second, scoring Cron.

After a poorly executed bunt by Carlos Gomez led to a pop out, Mallex Smith took an 0-1 cutter from Biagini back through the middle for an RBI single.

On the hill today, the Rays sent their season-long stud, TBA. And let me tell you, TBA was on.

Ryne Stanek opened and worked two perfect innings. He threw 27 pitches, 19 for strikes, and fanned three hitters while walking nobody. The fastball was fast, the slider slid, and spliter split.

Austin Pruitt worked two and two-thirds. During the first two, he gave up a lot of hard contact but mostly stayed out of trouble, giving up just a couple a two-out singles in the third inning. So of course, when he gave up a chopper to third and a meekly hit grounder toward the usual second baseman’s spot to start the fifth, what he was left with was no outs and runners on second and third. This was thanks to a failed barehanded play by Duffy (that maybe didn’t need to be barehanded), and a perfectly rolled grounder through the right side by Aledmys Diaz followed by a wide throw to third by Carlos Gomez.

Pruitt buckled down, battling through a long at bat to former Ray Luke Maile in which he made a number of very good pitches that Maile fouled off, before finally locking him up on the ninth pitch of the at bat with a fastball right down Broadway.

A groundout to Arroyo followed, scoring Grichuk. Jonny Venters then got the call and finished off the inning.

Chaz Roe was next. He did Chaz Roe things over his one and a third innings, giving up just a walk and recording one strikeout.

Next up! Jose Alvarado for one and two-thirds. He was nasty and in control. No hits, no walks, one strikeout.

Sergio Romo gave up some hard contact, but he thanks to some nice defense behind him, he finished it off quickly to notch his second save. One inning, one hit, no runs.

Rays win!

Notes:

  • Matthew Liberatore stopped by for a short interview Rich Hollenberg. He looked a little nervous when camera was on him, shuffling from foot to foot. But he sounded pretty calm and cool, and his cliche game was on-point.
  • Jake Bauers recorded another first, picking up the first steal of his career in the first inning. Jake was actually picked off on the play, but Jaime Garica’s throw to first eluded Justin Smoak and ended up rolling down the right field line. By the time it was over, Bauers was on third (where he was stranded) on a steal and an error.
  • There were lots of dandy plays by Ref Refsnyder in left, Jake Bauers and first, and Willy Adames and short. This team is getting really fun.

The Rays go for the sweep at 1:10 PM tomorrow afternoon.