After going 3-3 last week, but also keeping 2 shutouts, there was a lot of positives to build from. The Blue Jays had a big week ahead of them, with a 4 game series with Tampa Bay, then facing the Yankees in New York for a 3 game series.
Here is where we’ll break it all down.
Game 1: Jays 7 – 9 Rays (12 innings)
Toronto would get to Rays starter Tyler Glasnow early, thanks to RBI singles for Vladdy Guerrero Jr and Teo Hernandez in the bottom of the 1st. Then Marcus Semien would add to the lead with a 2-out RBI triple in the second. Brandon Lowe would get 2 runs back for the Rays with a 2-run HR off Anthony Kay. Vladdy would answer right back as he would hit a Solo shot in the bottom half of the 3rd. Brandon Lowe and Marcus Semien would each hit shots in the 5th, making it 5-3 Blue Jays going into the 6th. Ji-Man Choi would come off the bench to hit a pinch hit, 2-run HR for the Rays, to tie the game at 5. The game would stay tied at 5 all the way to the 12th inning, were the Rays would bust the game open. The Jays would load the bases with no outs, and Francisco Mejia would make them pay hitting a grand slam. Vladdy would hit his second HR of the night in the bottom half of the 12th, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Jays would fall 9-7.
Quick note, Marcus Semien was only a single away from completing the cycle, as the Jays second basemen had a double, triple, and HR all by the 5th inning!
Game 2: Jays 1 – 3 Rays
Once again, the Jays would get on the board early, as a Teoscar Hernandez RBI double gave the Jays a 1-0 lead. That would be the only run rookie Shane McClanahan would surrender in his solid 5 innings of work for Tampa Bay. Robbie Ray was on the mound for Toronto, and he would have a great night as well. He went 7 strong innings, with his only mistake coming to Rays catcher Mike Zunino, when Zunino hit a solo HR off Robbie in the 5th inning. An RBI single by Manuel Margot in the 8th would give TB a 2-1 lead, and Taylor Walls would come around to score in the 9th on a throwing error by Danny Jansen. That would seal it for the Rays, as they would take this game 3-1.
Game 3: Jays 4 – 6 Rays
The Rays would make it 1-0 early, as an RBI single by Manuel Margot off Hyun Jin Ryu would give Tampa Bay the lead in the 1st.
Ryu was good again on Sunday, he was more hittable, but managed to only allow 2 runs off of 8 hits, scattered through 6 2/3 innings. Teoscar Hernandez would tie this game on two occasions, as a solo HR in the 4th tied the game at 1, then in the 5th a 2-out RBI single made it 2-2. It would stay that way until the bottom of the 8th, where Randal Grichuk would hit a 2-run home run to give the Jays a 4-2 lead. Things would completely unravel for the Jays pen in the top half of the 9th as the very reliable Tyler Chatwood would give up one run, to make it 4-3, and would leave the game with the bases loaded and 2-out. Travis Bergen would come in, proceed to walk the next 3 batters to give the Rays a 6-4 lead. Tampa Bay would hold on, and win their 10th game in a row!
Game 4: Jays 8 – 14 Rays (11 innings)
Trent Thornton would get into trouble in the 1st, when he would walk in a run with the bases loaded (on a very close pitch that got Pete Walker ejected) and then Joey Wendle would hit a grand slam giving the Rays a 5-0 lead. Solo home runs by Lourdes Gurriel, Vladdy, and Teoscar Hernandez would make it 5-3 going into the 8th. Guerrero Jr would then tie the game in the bottom of the 8th with his second HR of the game, making it 5-5. This game would need extra innings, and after the Rays put out 2 runs in the top of the 10th, Marcus Semien would once again tie the game at 7’s with a 2-run shot in the bottom of the 10th. The Rays would blow it up in the next inning, scoring 7 runs to insure the win in the game and secure the series sweep.
Jays Series Standout:
Often when a team is swept over a 4 game series, it might be hard to find a bright spot, but this series has an easy choice. Vladdy is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball right now, and had 4 HR in the series, including one that travelled 117 MPH off the bat and went 461 feet!
Game 1: Jays 6 – 2 Yankees
Vladimir Guerrero Jr would continue his hot streak when he would give the Jays a 2-0 lead in the top of the 3rd with his 16th HR of the season. Toronto would then take a 5-0 lead in the top of the 7th inning thanks to a throwing error by Yankees shortstop Gleber Torres. New York would get a couple runs back but Toronto were able to see this one out 6-2. Steven Matz had another good outing for the Blue Jays, going 6 2/3 innings, and earning his 6th win of the season.
Game 2: Jays 2 – 0 Yankees (7 innings)
In the first game of the double header on Thursday, it was all about one of the Jays top prospect, Alek Manoah. Manoah was making his Major League debut, and boy did he impress! He only allowed 2 hits, and 2 walks, while a striking out 7 Yankees and going 6 shutout innings. The run support came via back-to-back home runs by Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette in the 3rd inning. Jordan Romano shut the door in the 7th, clinching Manoah his first career win.
Game 3: Jays 3 – 5 Yankees (7 innings)
In the second game of the day, the Yankees decided to bring their bats this time, and got ahead early when Gio Urshela doubled in a run, to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. Bo Bichette would have an answer in the top of the 3rd inning, when he hit his 2nd HR of the day, this time a 3-run bomb to left-center. Unfortunately, that would be it for runs for Toronto, and it wouldn’t be enough. A 2-run HR for Aaron Judge would tie the game at 3’s, and then Gary Sanchez would hit a solo shot off Robbie Ray to give the Bronx Bombers the lead. A sacrifice fly by Judge would give New York some extra insurance, before Chad Greene would close it out, 5-3.
Jays Series Standout:
Bo Bichette had a great series, but the standout here has to be Alek Manoah. Manoah earned is first career win, and really looked dominant in his debut.
So after the week couldn’t of started off much worse, by being swept by Tampa Bay, the Jays were able to rebound and take the series in New York.
Next up for Toronto is a weekend series in Cleveland, and then the Jays have a mini two game set at home against the Miami Marlins. A rare week where Toronto has 2 days off.
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.
Make sure to check out the latest edition of the Chtib & Zhang podcast, where the NHL and NBA Playoffs will be the main focus!