This was a fun game for seven innings. Then things got out of hand in the eighth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1.
The story should have and could have been different in tonight’s game.
Ryan Yarbrough came into tonight’s game with a 5-0 record with a 2.42 ERA in 9 appearances at Tropicana Field against the Blue Jays. While Star Wars night was being observed in the stands, the force was not strong with Yarbrough and the Rays on the turf.
Starting in the of the first Yarbrough gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez. After walking Bo Bichette next, Yarbrough and the Rays were in trouble quick. Thankfully, the only run that would score came on a Santiago Espinal sacrifice fly giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead after the top half of the first inning.
Hyun Jin Ryu started for the Blue Jays as he returned from the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation. Yandy Diaz gave him a warm welcome back with a leadoff home run (96.5 EV, 26 LA, 333 feet) to tie the game 1-1. Harold Ramirez added some offense with a great play to get a double on a ground ball to left field that left field that was thrown weakly and inaccurately into second by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. He would ultimately get left on base after a Randy Arozarena strikeout ended the inning.
Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen also returned from the injured list after recovering from a left oblique strain and was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance in the top of the second inning. Yarbrough was able to keep him from scoring by retiring the next two batters to close out the half inning. The Rays offense was retired in order to move things quickly to the third.
Things started looking shaky again for the Rays. Yarbrough was pulled in the top of the fourth inning after back-to-back two-out walks to Jansen and Raimel Tapia. He finished with 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 K, and 3 BB on 80 pitches. J.P. Feyereisen came in and only needed three pitches to strikeout Matt Chapman to get out of the inning with the score still tied.
The #Rays JP Feyereisen has now stranded 7/7 inherited runners this year after leaving two aboard in the 4th.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) May 14, 2022
Manuel Margot hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth inning for the Rays and advanced to second on an Arozarena single two batters later. It certainly felt like this inning was building up to be the moment the Rays take advantage and take the lead in the game. Unfortunately, Vidal Brujan grounded into one of the unlikeliest 5-4 double plays as he hit the ball straight to Matt Chapman who tagged out Margot and made the throw to get Arozarena out at second to close out the inning.
Another scoreless inning in the fifth and more Blue Jays highlights as Bichette made a great throw to get Mike Zunino out at first.
Colin Poche pitched the sixth inning for the Rays. His only blemish was a first-pitch single to Santiago Espinal to start the inning. He only needed eight more pitches to get the next three batters out in order.
The Rays offense teased fans again in the bottom of the sixth. Margot singled to right field with one out and advanced to second after Harold Ramirez was hit by pitch. Kevin Kiermaier entered as a pinch-runner for Margot and once again this felt like the inning another run would score. Two groundouts later and it was still a 1-1 game.
Jason Adam pitched the seventh inning for the Rays and was aided by an amazing defensive effort. With one out, Chapman hit a well-struck (100.8 EV) ball to right field and Vidal Brujan made an amazing play that almost was an ugly collision with Brett Phillips. That play was all the excitement for the Rays as the offense was retired in order.
Ryan Thompson entered the game for the Rays in the eighth and things fell apart quickly. Hernandez started the scoring with a leadoff home run (109.3 EV, 23 LA, 414 feet) to give the Blue Jays the lead. Two batters later Espinal hit a first-pitch single to center and later scored on a Gurriel Jr. single. Jansen came up next and continued his fantastic night with a two-run home run (97.9 EV, 30 LA, 368 feet) to make it a 5-1 lead that would ultimately be the final score in this game.
The Rays came are now 4-2 in games that were tied after seven innings and will try to salvage a series win tomorrow at 1:40PM ET.