The Rays are in Toronto to open a three-game series against the red-hot Blue Jays. Collin McHugh took the mound as an opener against Alek Manoah.
A lot of energy leading off tonight pic.twitter.com/rzqSxiPCqf— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 13, 2021
Before anything, it’s best to get this fact out of the way now: the offense did nothing all game long until the top of the 9th inning. The Rays offense, that is. Toronto’s offense did more than enough.
McHugh did a good job opening, working 2.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout while allowing three hits.
Ryan Yarbrough relieved and everything went downhill from there. The Blue Jays strung five-straight hits together in the bottom of the fourth inning, putting them ahead 4-0.
In the fifth, Bo Bichette added on with a solo home run before a double and RBI single made it 6-0. Two more singles made it 7-0, marking the end of Yarbrough’s outing.
Yarbrough allowed eight hard-hit balls in the outing and seven of them got down for hits. His softest hit allowed, 55.4 mph, also got down for a single. But when Collin McHugh has more swings-and-misses on 41 less pitches, sometimes luck is the last thing you want to rely on.
Adam Conley was brought in to pitch and got out of the fifth inning jam. Unfortunately, in the bottom of the sixth, he allowed a solo home run to Vlad Jr, which made it 8-0 Toronto. Thankfully, that would be the last Blue Jays run to score on the night.
Nick Anderson entered in the bottom of the seventh and battled through poor command to work a scoreless inning. He walked one and allowed a hit, but was also helped out by a phenomenal Kevin Kiermaier catch to keep the Blue Jays at eight runs.
Kevin Kiermaier got UP! pic.twitter.com/2jhnVAiIrq— MLB (@MLB) September 14, 2021
Louis Head pitched the eighth inning and didn’t allow a run to score despite allowing a hit. Alek Manoah’s day was done after eight innings of work. He struck out 10 Rays hitters while not walking anyone.
In the top of the ninth, Austin Meadows faced former Rays pitcher Trevor Richards with two outs in the inning and gave the Rays only their second hit of the night. That hit went 395 feet and put the Rays on the board to make the loss just a little bit less lopsided.
The Rays will look to avenge tonight’s disappointing loss in the second game of the series tomorrow night. Deadline acquisition Jose Berrios will start for the Blue Jays, while Drew Rasmussen will start for the Rays, with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 pm.