The Rays used a relentless offense and a parade of pitchers to easily dispatch the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 and complete the four game sweep. The Rays put runners on in every inning except the eighth, and none of the six pitchers used faced more than nine hitters while they kept the Blue Jay bats in check.
For Tyler Glasnow, it was a triumphant return. In his first appearance since May 10th, he came out throwing fire, mixing in 98-100 mph fastballs with a nasty curve to strike out the side in order in the first, including a K of phenom Bo Bichette on three pitches.
Guess who's back, back again— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 8, 2019
Glasnow's back, tell a friend pic.twitter.com/LQpqZEUMzb
For the Rays, after two quick outs in the bottom of the first, Toronto pitcher Waguespack missed location down and in to Austin Meadows, which is really a place you don’t want to miss.
.@austin_meadows hits a BOMB to give @Raysbaseball a 1-0 lead! #RaysUp #MLB— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 8, 2019
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With some of the adrenaline burned off, Glasnow’s second inning had some speed bumps. First came a leadoff five-pitch walk to Vladdy Jr. Randall Grichuk followed with a blast over the wall in center to put Toronto up 2-1.
Two more strikeouts sandwiched a walk and a popout to finish Glasnow’s day after two innings.
Tyler Glasnow, 99mph Fastball at the knees...and K hop. pic.twitter.com/kv3xKq57N2— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 8, 2019
The Rays grabbed the lead for good in the second. Ji-Man Choi and Travis d’Arnaud worked walks to start it off. Kiermaier then grounded into a force play to put runners on the corners for Willy Adames. But Willy’s grounder to third caught Choi in a pickle, and he was retired 5-2-5-2, putting the rally in jeopardy. Enter Daniel Robertson, who made sure the Rays didn’t waste the scoring opportunity by slapping a triple into the right field corner.
.@D_Robertson28 smacks a 2-run triple to give @Raysbaseball a 3-2 lead! #RaysUp #MLB— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 8, 2019
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Trevor Richards came on to pitch the third for the Rays and looked sharp, striking out two of the first three hitters he faced. For the day, he worked two and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up no hits and one walk. He also got by with a little help from his friend Kevin Kiermaier.
WR1 at it again. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/R2GLnq12dK— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 8, 2019
Chaz Roe came on with two outs in the fifth to retire Bo Bichette on a groundout.
The Rays wasted a couple two-out doubles in the third and fourth, so Joey Wendle got the rally started early in the fifth with a lead off single to center. After a Tommy Pham fly out, Meadows singled to center, putting two on for Avi Garcia. Garcia plated Wendle when his drive deep to center was badly misplayed by centerfielder Teoscar Hernandez and one-hopped over the wall.
.@AvisailGarcia whacks a ground rule double to extend @Raysbaseball's lead!#RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/8k6PtMJbPX— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 8, 2019
A Choi sac fly scored Meadows, and a double on a high fly off the top of the wall from d’Arnaud scored Garcia to make it a 6-2 game.
Diego Castillo got the call for bottom of the sixth and made heavy use of his slider in striking out Hernandez on three pitches and Guerrero on four pitches. In between, Choi made a nice snag up the first base line. Castillo went back out for the seventh and mixed in a bit more of the 99 mph gas with the slider in another clean frame.
Tommy Pham led off the seventh with a single to left. After Meadows reached on a force out, Garcia absolutely crushed one onto the Rays 360 to make it an 8-2 game.
It's that man again! @AvisailGarcia blasts a 2-run home run to give @Raysbaseball an 8-2 lead! #RaysUp #MLB— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 8, 2019
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That ball had a family!
456' pic.twitter.com/bhw9qpF02M— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 8, 2019
After Cole Sulser worked a scoreless eighth, Anthony Banda made his own return. It was less successful than Glasnow’s, as he gave up a double and two singles in closing out the win.
- The 9-1 homestand kept the Rays in front of Oakland and Cleveland in the wild card race.
- On the down side, Kevin Kiermaier left the game for a pinch hitter in the fifth due to neck spasms.
#Rays say Kevin Kiermaier left Sunday's game with neck spasms.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) September 8, 2019
- Rays pitchers set a franchise high in strikeouts, surpassing the 2014 team’s total.
Twitter should really allow 1438 characters for all these Ks we've been getting. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/7eZspitOvo— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 8, 2019
- The Rays are off tomorrow. They kick off a three game set Tuesday night in Texas against Rangers.