The Blue Jays were looking to rebound from pretty disappointing trips to Boston and Kansas City, where Toronto went 2-4. This week focused on a 3 game divisional matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, which would see the end of the team’s 9 game road trip, and after returning “home”, the Jays would welcome the Washington Nationals.
Game 1: Jays 5 – 3 Rays
The series started with Jays facing Rays ace Tyler Glasnow, who had only allowed 2 runs in 24 innings coming into this game. That would change quickly, as the Jays jumped all over Glasnow in the 1st inning, when Rowdy Tellez would double in Guerrero Jr, before Marcus Semien would hit a 3-run home run to give Toronto a 4-0 lead. On the bump for the Blue Birds was Steven Matz, who also had a great start to the year. He was solid again for the Jays going 5 innings, and his only mistake was giving up a 3-run shot, while pitching around 3 defensive errors. Randal Grichuk would hit his 3rd home run in the 6th inning for some insurance before Rafael Dolis would shut the door for his 1st save of the season.
Game 2: Jays 3 – 5 Rays
In the second game of the series, the Jays would get off to a great start again curtesy of a Randal Grichuk 3-run HR. That tough 1st inning would chase Brent Honeywell Jr after only 1 inning, but that would be a blessing in disguise for the Rays as Ryan Yarbrough would come in and shut the Jays down for 5 2/3 innings. This would allow the Rays to chip away at the Jays lead, and after chasing Robbie Ray from the game in the 6th at 3-3, and in the 8th, Jordan Romano would allow the first two runners on base, and both runners would come around to score, giving the Rays the lead and eventually the win.
Game 3: Jays 1 – 0 Rays
The rubber match was short and sweet, and was all about the Blue Jays bullpen. Hyun Jin Ryu would go 3 2/3 scoreless innings before having to leave the game with a glute strain, and that’s where the bullpen would take over. After the 4th, Tyler Chatwood, Ryan Borucki, David Phelps and Rafael Dolis would pitch a combined 5 innings of shut out, no hit baseball! Santiago Espinal would drive in Marcus Semien in the top half of the 5th inning, and that would be enough. Dolis would come in to close it out again, this time earning a 4 out save to get the Jays the series.
Jays Series Standout:
Rafael Dolis is the standout for this series as he’s beginning to get himself back on track earning his first and second saves of the season.
Game 1: Jays 9 – 5 Nationals
The opening game of this series can be summed up pretty easily – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vladdy had himself a game Tuesday night, he went 3/4 with 3 home runs, including a grand slam, and 7 RBI’s. 2 of the 3 HR’s were hit off of Nats ace Max Scherzer. Guerrero had most of the offence covered, the Jays pitcher staff kept the Nationals at bay for the most part. Washington had 4 HR but only lead to 5 runs. It was a bullpen game for the Jays as they had 7 different pitchers involved in this game. Rafael Dolis pitched another scoreless 9th to close out the game.
Game 2: Jays 2 – 8 Nationals
The second half of the two game series saw Steven Matz struggle for the first time this season. He gave up 3 runs in the 3rd and then gave up a 3 run shot to Josh Harrison in the 4th inning to end his night. The Jays hit 2 solo shots, one from Lourdes Gurriel Jr and one from Bo Bichette, but this game was never in doubt for Washington. The lone bright spot of the night was George Springer made his Blue Jays debut, but struggled going 0/4.
Jays Series Standout:
This was an easy one for me, the series standout is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. when you have more home runs then games played in a series, you’ll most likely but series MVP every time.
Another week of ups and downs for the Blue Jays, who need to start putting some wins together in a row. George Springer returning to the line will hopefully help, but he will take some time to settle in.
Toronto now look forward to starting another 3 game inter-league series, this time against the Atlanta Braves, before facing A.L West opponents the Oakland Athletics.
You can catch every inning of Toronto Blue Jays baseball on Rogers Sportsnet, and check in here weekly at Hot Sauce Sports for the breakdown.
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